12 November 2011 2:00 am | | 20

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Aridha, previously unheard of amongst Tunisians, is now hobbled by internal problems.

Twelve members of Aridha Chaabia - nine of which are head of lists – declared in a press release that they want to be independent from the party. This, according to the document, comes because of “Hashmi Hamdi‘s attempts to deprive them of their will, and his persistence in imposing his opinion in issues directly involving the local list; especially the decision to withdraw all members of the party’s list from the Assembly. This had a dangerous impact on the Governorate of Sidi Bouzid.”

The head of lists represent the electoral districts of: Tunis I, Tunis II, Nabeul I, Nabeul II, Mahdia, Ben Arous, Ariana, Bizerte and Sfax II. They signed the resignation letter to announce that they are independent and are thus not concerned by the Hamdi’s decision.

The High Authority of the Election, the ISIE, previously disqualified eight lists of the Aridha Chaabia due to violations committed during the Constituent Assembly elections. Subsequently, Hashmi Hamdi announced the withdrawal of all members of the party from the Constituent Assembly on a local radio show on October 27th. On November 3rd, head of the Nabeul II list Moncef Ben Salem told Tunisia Live that he attempted to splinter off from Al Aridha after taking offense at Hamdi’s decision, asserting that the question of whether or not to withdraw his candidacy should have been an individual one. However after five only days, the seats were reinstated.

Ranking third in of number of seats allocated, Aridha Chaabia’s appearance on the political stage came as a surprise. Many Tunisians had never heard of the party before its large victory. Now however, many Tunisians await Hashmi Hamdi’s return to Tunisia today on November 12th. This wave of resignation, occurring one day before he lands in Tunisia, proves that the leader of the party will have some serious problems to take care of.


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