The electoral campaign began six days ago, and while parties are doing all that is possible in order to get votes for the elections of the constituent assembly, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) is facing problems. It did not respect the decision of the advertising ban that was imposed by the High Authority for the Elections (ISIE), and agreed to stop its advertising campaign only one day before the start of the electoral period.
In addition to that, a Facebook group called PDP leaksÂ revealed many secrets about the political party, and this led to a wave of resignations from the PDP in Gafsa and Bizerte.
In Bizerte, Ahmed Farhat Hamoudi, the national secretary of the youth of the PDP, declared by phone to Tunisia Live that Souad Gousami, general secretary of Bizerte’s federation, resigned from the PDP with three other members of the same federation because of a controversy between her and Mahdi Ben Gharbia, president of the Bizerte Football club and current head of PDP’s list for Bizerte’s district. He was appointed by national party leaders, but the federation refused him as he is accused of being involved in financialÂ misconductÂ during the era of the former regime.
Gafsa’s federation also was shaken by a large number of resignations. Ghzela Mhamdi, secretary of the federation, was complaining about the centralization of the decisions: “Gafsa’s federation voted for the lists of the candidates for the elections and Mhamdi was second on the list, but the party leaders refused this list and appointed its own candidates.”
Mhamdi also declared that the head of list appointed by the national part leadership does not even have a membership card. In addition, Abderrazak Daii, Abderrazak Labiadh and Raouf Mazboud, previous members of the political police and the PDP, came back to the party during the days following the revolution after they had resigned in 2008 and banned other members from assisting the regional meetings.
All these problems led to the resignation of the following members of the PDP on October 1st:
Ghzela Mhamdi, member of regional federation of Gafsa.
Klii ElKaid, political coordinator of the regional campaign,Â and general secretary of Al Snad branch.
Abdellatif Kaid, Member of the regional financial committee,Â and general secretary of Al Guettar branch.
Nejib Hajji, secretary of Mdhila branch
Mohsen Ben Othmane, charge of judicial affairs in the regional political campaign and general secretary of Aich Branch
Kamel Neffeti,Â general secretary of South-Gafsa Branch
Miloud Fajraoui, founder of Metlaoui Branch
Most of Snad Branch members and 865 participants
4 Members of Guettar branch and 200 participants
All members of Mdhila branch and 57 participants
All members of South-Gafsa Branch and 400 participants.
5 members of Metlaoui branch and 385 participants.
The party is passing through a crisis which can affect the political campaign of the party in the electoral period. The results of the Constituent Assembly elections, however,Â will show the real popularity of the PDP among Tunisians.
Just seventeen days before the Constituent Assembly elections, a number of strikes have begun, demanding higher wages and greater rights for a variety of workers.
The demonstrations dispel the feeling that citizens will wait until after the elections to agitate for their goals and needs.
On Tuesday, October 4th, doctors belonging to the National Security Fund announced an open strike, demanding an increase in their salary of 700 TND per month. According to the Ministry of Social Affairs, the doctors’ strike is illegal because the Code of Labor stipulates that strikes must be declared ten days in advance.
Jamel Ferjani, the General Secretary of the Civil Aviation and Airports Syndicate states that strikes are a last option if negotiations with the administration fail. Strikes would, however, not take place to demand new rights, but solely to defend the legitimacy of the current rights.
The Syndicate of Judges announced a two-hours strike this morning, October 6th, in the Court of First Instance in Grombalia to protests recent incidents of harassments, threats and assaults. The judges stated that they renounce all sorts of intimidation and demand the interventions of the Ministry of Justice.
Sources: Le Temps, Al Mouharir, Assabah
Hafedh Abd Rahim, a professor in political sociology, examined the Tunisiansâ€™ reaction after the official launch of political campaigns last Saturday. According to his contemplation, Tunisiansâ€™ remissness of the electoral campaign, especially among the youth, is due to their lack of interest in politics as a result of political marginalization during the last decades. This deduction was confirmed recently by the National Observatory of Youth.
Meher Trimich, a professor in sociology, believes the lack of political interest, as a phenomenon, is global and doesnâ€™t only concern Tunisia. Apparently, the submitting of oneâ€™s voice â€“which is a conviction-, makes the voter vulnerable as individual. This process requires forging bounds of trust between the government and the people.
In digression to the political campaign, Belaid Awlad Abd Allah, a scholar in sociology, adds that ridicule and satire ensue from similar points andÂ characteristicsÂ in political and economic programs, in contradiction with the multitude of candidates. He also states that the current frustration in the country is caused by the slow pace of democratic transition opposed to the urgent wish for putting things in order.
ByÂ Kouichi Shirayanagi
On Friday, October 7th, President Obama will be meeting with Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi at the White House. This marks the first face-to-face meeting between the President of the United States and the head of the Tunisian government after the January 14th Revolution.
According to the White House Press Office, the President and Prime Minister will be discussing Americaâ€™s strong support for Tunisiaâ€™s democratic transition and the strong bonds of friendship between the Tunisian and American people.Â Tunisia is the originator of the Arab Spring and will be the leading light for other Arab countries going through similar democratic transitions.Â If real democratic change is not achieved in Tunisia after the Revolution, there will be dire consequences for the entire region undergoing transformative change. Thus, it is in the United States Governmentâ€™s interest to constructively assist the Tunisian government in this mammoth effort.
At 84, Beji Caid Essebsi is headed toward retirement no matter the result of Tunisiaâ€™s Constituent Assembly elections.Â However, this meeting is a great opportunity to outline how US-Tunisia policy should shift to reflect the changes on the ground.Â I offer four steps:
First, the United States Government should continue to assist with transferring frozen assets stolen by the old regime to the Tunisian people.Â It is widely believed that President Ben Ali, his family, and their associates siphoned off assets in the billions of dollars and stored them in at least twelve different countries.Â The process of returning these assets to the Tunisian government for the benefit of the Tunisian people continues to be an outstanding challenge.Â The Tunisian economy will not seriously recover until stolen assets are returned.
Second, economic assistance to Tunisia must be expanded.Â Since the Revolution, the US Congress allocated over $33 million in new funding for the promotion of democracy, good governance and economic reforms on top of private sector support though the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.Â This support amounts to a little more than $3 per Tunisian and does not scratch the surface of the myriad of problems Tunisia will face in the short term.Â Democracy promotion is a serious investment that will require an expansion of English language training, greater student, military, and civil servant exchange programs, and support for ventures in reforming the Tunisian media. Most important, the United States has a moral obligation to assist in the transformation of the estimated 200,000-strong national Tunisian police force to a police accountable to serving the Tunisian people.Â The United States must play a lead role in seeing this transition by increasing economic support.Â It is simply not enough to urge other foreign powers to contribute to this effort.
Third, US-Tunisian trade must be liberalized.Â US-Tunisian trade is relatively low in volume because Tunisia conducts most of itâ€™s trade with Europe.Â In 2010 Tunisiaâ€™s total exports to the US amounted to $405 million, and imports of American products amounted to $571 million.Â Before the global economic recession, Tunisiaâ€™s exports to the United States reached $644 million but then declined in subsequent years.Â While Morocco and Jordan have free trade agreements with the United States, Tunisia does not.Â However, the United States and Tunisia have a trade investment framework agreement which can lead to a free trade agreement in the future.
Fourth, there must be direct flights between the United States and Tunisia.Â This can be achieved with an Open Skies Agreement.Â The lack of direct flights hinders easy travel for American tourists and businessmen from the United States to Tunisia.Â Morocco has over 130,000 American tourists each year and Egypt boasts over 270,000 American tourists each year â€“ both have Open Skies Agreements. By contrast, Tunisia has fewer than 20,000 American tourists each year.Â An Open Skies Agreement would have the potential to significantly increase the number of American tourists in Tunisia, and assist in reviving Tunisiaâ€™s struggling tourism sector which, until January 14th, employed over 400,000 people.
In remarks to the State Department in May, President Obama declared that “America values the dignity of the street vendor in Tunisia more than the raw power of the dictator.” His meeting with Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi is an important opportunity for him to support the Tunisian Revolution not only in words but in a way that expands and enhances US-Tunisian ties for many years to come.
La Presse Â (The Press), Daily Governmental
National Conference on Elders
Strike of Employers of Mabrouk Group
Essebsi’s Visit to the US
Enterprises Face Employment Misery
Le Temps Â (The Times), Daily Independent
BCE in Washington: Post-Revolutionary Transition More Difficult Than State Creation
CERES Director Nomination: Only Democracy May Decide
Three Years in Prison for Moncef Trabelsi
Ministry Says Doctor’s Strike Is Illegal
Breast Cancer No Longer Taboo Subject
Le Quotidien Â (The Daily), Daily Independent
BCE in NYTimes: I Am Not Ready to Retreat
Ahmed Brahim: PDM Promises Nothing It Can’t Deliver
Slim Riahi: A Billionaire on Campaign
Marzouki or the Impact of Contact Lenses
Artists in Politics: Under a Good Star
Three Years of Prison for Moncef Trabelsi
Al Chourouk ?????? (The Sunrise), Daily Independent
Raises for Agents of Prime Ministry
Investigation With Ghazoua Ben Ali About Cases of Corruption and Money Laundering
Fifth Day of Electoral Campaign: It’s Getting Hot
Who Will Stop Illegal Building?
Qatar Might Take Over Libya
Mercenaries Are Helping Ousted Presidents to Smuggle Money
Judicial Authority Opens Kidnapping Case of Choukri Beliid and Abd Raouf Ayedi
AssabahÂ ??????Â Â (The Â Morning), Daily Â Independent
Syndicate of Judges Announces Brief Strike in Grombailaâ€™s Court of First Instance
Poll of Tunisian Observatory for Democratic Transition: Unemployment, Fighting Corruption, Safety, Liberty Are Main Concerns of Tunisians
Interrogation of Ghaza, Daughter of Ousted President in a Case of Money Laundering
Sociologists Think Delay of Democratic Transition Ensued Dismay, and â€˜Primitivismâ€™ of Campaign Ensued Ridicule
Hundreds of Turtles Found Dead on Shore of Chebba, Sousse
Al MouharerÂ ?????? (The Liberator), Daily Independent
Essebsiâ€™s Speech to New York Times: All the Possibilities Between â€œYesâ€ and â€œNoâ€
Djerba: Tensions Arise After Youth Injured by Security Forcesâ€™ Bullet
Wave of Strikes in All Airports
Judges and Lawyers Evaluate Performance of the Judiciary: End Politicized Judiciary
Sfax: 15 Minutes of Rain Floods the Streets
Launching of Tunisian Votes Abroad
October 8th: Last Day for Candidacies to Receive Accreditation
Essebsi from Washington: I Will Join the Future Government If Conditions Allow
Details on Agreement Between Secondary Education Syndicate and Ministry of Sports: Declaring Retirees, Reviewing the Political System, and New Grants
Tunisian Coordination in Support of Syrian Revolution Supports Transitional Council
Retirement in Tunisia
Al Maghreb ??????Â (The Maghreb), Daily Independent
American-Tunisian Policy: From Bourguiba to Essebsi
Disappointment in Tadhamon City Because of Neglect
Essebsi’s Visit to Washington
Jendouba: Reconstruction of Fallen Bridge
Partnernship Between Tunisia and Turkey
Revolution Revealed Explosion of Needs
G20 Contractors of Nice – Without Tunisians?
Concerns of the ILO on G20 Recession
Economic Development Awaiting Political Developments
Tunis Stock Exchange Continues Rise on Wednesday
UNESCO Says Over 243,000 Additional Teachers in Arab Countries
Tunisia Will Supply Aid for Libya for Aid El Adha
Sfax Chamber of Commerce Organizes Business Mission to MEDICA in DÃ¼sseldorf
Report on Gender Inequality and Development
Tunisian-Americans Present BCE With Trophy
Hundredth Birthday of Mahmoud Messaadi, Celebration Begins Friday
TunInvest-AfricInvest: New Fund of 96 Million Euros
Ras Jdir: 400 Thousand Libyans Entered Tunisia in September
Common Call From UGTT and Bar Association for Success of Elections
Judges Plan a 2-Hour Strike on Thursday
Moncef Trabelsi Sentenced to 3 Years of Prison for Defrauding a Palestinian
Ghazoua Ben Ali Interrogated by a Senior Judge
UGTT Launches a 2-Day Strike in Ariana Postal Offices
New 20 and 50 Dinar Bills Released Soon
Below find the heads of candidate lists for the October 23rd Constituent Assembly election, arranged by district, for the major parties of Tunisia. Most parties do not have a list registered in each district. We will continue to update this database as more information becomes available. For a table format, click here.
You can also find an explanation of the proportional-list voting system here.
Tunisia is divided into 27 electoral districts, and Tunisian citizens living abroad may vote in 6 additional districts.
On its fourth day, the campaign scenery is getting more dynamic with parties and lists presenting their programs all over the country.
In Gafsa, the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) startedÂ distributingÂ fliers and announcements. They will also have campaigns in Metlaoui and Snad. The party nullified any rumors about theirÂ dismissals or resignations from the offices in the regionÂ .
In Kasserine, the National Unit list was dropped by the independent Regional Instance for Elections (IRIE) because it did not meet the required qualifications. The list brought its case to court which is still considering bringing it back.
In the district Tunis 1, Moncef Marzouki stated that “people should vote for the recognized parties who have been struggling against dictatorship.” The Hezb advocated aÂ ConstituentÂ Assembly of three years and a political system which is half parliamentary, half presidential.
The Tunis 2 district is a spot of heated competition between candidates of the PDP, Ettakatol, and the Morou’s list.
Â Medenine’s IRIE stated that the campaign included 42 lists and confirmed that until now no major transgressions have taken place. However, the parties’ activities and general meetings could lead to grudges and the exclusion of some parties.
In Nabeul, some lists are complaining because they are still waiting for the financial support that ISIE promised, which they need to launch their campaigns.
In Monastir, the Revolutionary Alternative list had two popular general meetings in ksar hellalÂ and Jamel. Other lists used the Tunisian flag in its advertising documents, which is against the laws of the electoral campaign.
Violations of the electoral law are committed in all districts, for example, through tearing posters from the walls â€“ whether by people or members of parties. Moreover, political parties advertise in places other than the wall lists and better coordination between the parties and IRIE is required. The regional authority invites all parties to notify them about any activities meetings to be held 72 hours ahead or they will not be allowed to have them.
Overall, the campaign agenda is getting busier with more parties presenting their programs, approaching all the regions in Tunisia, including the so-called marginalized ones.
It is Months now after the revolution and the martyrs and the wounded’s families are still struggling with cases in hospitals and in courts. Discontented and jaded with waiting for so long over unsolved matters, a group ofÂ agonizedÂ families and victims gathered in front of the Military hospital in Tunis protesting last Saturday, October 1st .
As a response, aÂ spokesman from the Ministry of Defense announced that a series of investigations will soon be undertaken to discern how to cover victims’ recovery expenses physicallyÂ or psychologically and will also include tratments abroad. Mokhtar Ben Nasr states that “not all wounded are wounded of the revolution and not all who died were martyrs”. He pointed that people should make the difference between victims of the revolution and victims during “theft or uproar incidents”.
One of the cases is that of Mohamed Jandoubi who was wounded on January 13 by the police in Kram, Tunis. He is paralyzed now and is still waiting for a secondÂ surgeryÂ to be done. He is currently hospitalized in Ariana, Tunis. In a call with his mother Ms. Moufida Jandoubi, she stated that her son’s conditions are appalling and he needs to be sent abroad. TheÂ alarmedÂ mother expressed herÂ exhaustionÂ and weariness because of waiting for the government to interfere and show concrete support. She appealed to the courts at her own expenses but in vain.The family of Mohamed was in charge of taking care of him for months now and what they received is an amount of 3000 Dinars for the whole process, which is “not enough” as the mother affirmed.
She expresses gratitude to all those who supported her like NGOs and Tunisian citizens providing a wheel chair for her child andÂ medicines. “Even emotional support counts” stated the mother. After the last events in front of Military hospital, the mother stated that there is hope with the government to study her son’s caseÂ acutely which should have been done months ago.
Kasserine, one of the active regions during the revolution, has also sacrificed for the revolution. Mr Nejib Gharsallin, a lawyer and shrewd activist who lead the Lawyers’ first movement supporting Sidi Bouzid on December 22 Â in Kasserine, is in charge of cases of martyrs and injured people in his town. A case against the former president and former minister of interior was brought to trial 6 months ago but they have yet to hear back from the court. Mr Nejib and a number of volunteer lawyers have been dealing with a myriad of cases that need investigation and inspection from executive powers.
Two days ago he received a call from the Ministry of Interior informing him that “investigating cases was done by the military court in Kef and many wounded were interrogated”. Now, they should wait for what the military court will announce. He also mentioned that he delivered 530 files of injured cases to the state house and they contacted the families and took the required measures. Mr NejibÂ acknowledgesÂ the efforts of Â the investigating judge in Kasserine, Lotfi Ben Jedou, who tried his best to listen to and consider the cases of all witnesses; a number that reached over 1000 individuals
Here are the top stories in Tunisia, October 5th, 2011:
Less than 20 days are left until the elections and Tunisians are neither sure of the parties they will elect nor of the security conditions which will follow the October 23rd elections.
This is “election phobia” as it was described by Abou Nour, a journalist from Al-Chourouk, who points out that the local market supplies have been declining for aÂ long time and that they are getting worse due to the beginning of the electoral campaign. Many foodstuffs are lacking in the Tunisian market such as water and milk. Tunisians are becoming afraid, and are buying huge quantities of food and water.Â Some are trying to collect basic foods as soon as possible as if they are expecting starvation after the elections. The Ministry of Tourism and Commerce is trying to mitigate this lack and considers it a temporary crisis that results from the lowering ofÂ production due to strikes and demonstration of workers and employees.
The General Manager of Supplies at the ministry said that this lack is partly due to the speculation of dried fruit sellers who bought huge quantities of mineral water in order to sell them for double the cost. He also implicated the retailers who are inventing some rumors which make people afraid of the present and the future to push them into buying huge quantities to increase their sales. News also fuels the fire by talking about gangsters, criminals and the weapons discovered in some houses while being unsure as to whether their information is credible.
Mr. Mahdi Mabrouk; a socio-political Professor said that the lack of confidence toward the elections and the opinion polls are the main causes of this fear. Besides that, many Tunisians have not yet understood the democratic transition and that is the reason why they are expecting the elections results to be catastrophic. This, in turn, impels people to think only of taking care of their families and expect bad to come.
It’ only one week into the second round of presidential campaigning and the tensions between Marzouki and Essebsi continue to mount. The rhetoric used by both candidates has already landed Marzouki in hot water with the Higher Independent Authority for Elections (French:...