Whilst ISIE was announcing partial results one day after the October 23rd elections, Ettakatol candidates and supporters gathered in the party’s headquarters in downtown Tunis, discussion the results and the possibility of cooperating with the election’s ‘winner’, Ennahda.
Even if Ettakatol did not win a large number of seats, most of the candidates and the supporters still expressed relief. Even the modest number of seats won was considered to be a victory compared to other centre and left parties, including the Pole and the Democratic Progressive Party.
Ettakatol supporters and members had to admit, however, that the party’s performance in such areas as Sousse and Sfax were definitely below Ettakatol’s expectations.
Mohamed Bennour, one of the symbolic figures of the Democratic Forum, said that the party is compatible with the Tunisian people’s aspiration. He also maintained that Ettakatol worked hard to remain objective and obstinate from criticising Ennahda.
Fatma Ezzedine, a member of the party and a human rights militant, thought that the results favoring Ennahda are due to Tunisia’s long dictatorship that suppressed Islamists and maintained a poor image of democratic socialists who were known for their corruption.
Fatma admitted that Ettkatol was also less present in some places where votes were decisive.
Members of the party also stated that they did not have significant representative in the southern areas, where the Arab Spring started.
Mustapha Ben Jaafar, the party’s secretary general, shortly joined the conversation. He discussed to which extent Ettakatal might be willing to compromise and cooperate with Ennahda.
Some members were astonished by the party’s hesitation to cooperate with Ennahda in a National Union Government – despite the fact that the party has always denied such intentions.
Other supporters and members, however, refused to cooperate with Ennahda, stressing that they had always promised to work with other left wing parties and centrists.
“We must not lie to our supporters and the people who entrusted us”, said one of the members in the crowd.
On the other hand, others had to admit that other progressive parties are the biggest losers of the elections and that there was no apparent need to work with them anymore. “The PDP is gone”.