On October 23rd, Tunisians voted for the representatives of the 217-member Constituent Assembly, which will be responsible for naming a new government and draft a new national constitution. The top three political parties who won the majority of seats at the Constituent Assembly are Ennahda, with 89 seats, followed by the Congress for the Republic (CPR), with 29 seats, and Ettakatol, to which 20 seats were allocated. Despite winning 26 seats, the Aridha Chaabia situation is still unsettled, after 8 of the party’s lists were invalidated then re-allocated following investigations undertaken by the High Authority of the Election (ISIE).
Negotiations are underway between Ennahda, Ettakatol and the CPR in regards to the appointment of the new government and to the new constitution. Rumors started to spread about who will be appointed as the next president, the prime minister and the head of the constituent assembly. Media suggested Hamadi Jebali, who is currently a member of moderate Islamist party Ennahda’s executive bureau, was chosen as the new Tunisian prime minister. The news was however neither confirmed nor denied by any part.
Samir Ben Amor, member the CPR executive bureau, told Tunisia Live that negotiations are still underway between their party, Ennahda and Ettakatol: “We are still negotiating the new government’s program. We share a unified vision with the other parties but there is nothing confirmed yet.” When asked about his party’s opinion about appointing Hamadi Jebali as prime minister, Samir Ben Amor replied “There is nothing confirmed yet, but we do not have an objection to this.”
The spokesperson for the center-left party Ettakatol, Mohamed Bennour, also expressed similar thoughts regarding Hamadi Jebali’s appointment as prime minister: “Ennahda’s popularity make them legitimate to nominate the person whom they consider will be best suited to defent Tunisians’ interests.” He continues: “We did not nominate any candidate for this position, so clearly we do not object to the nomination of Jebali as prime minister. He added that the composition of the new government would be announced by next Monday.
Ajmi Lourimi, member of Ennahda’s executive office, talking about the new government, said “We got the majority of the votes in the elections, so we have the right to form the new government. After all, we only Tunisia’s interests in mind. Hamadi Jebali, as the next prime minister, is a reasonable choice, and we will engage in negotiations with other parts to decide upon and name the new government.”
Lourimi adds “Ennahda is also interested in the ministry of foreign affairs, and we need to appoint someone who has a clear vision about the party, its background and its orientation, to best represent Tunisia to the foreign world.”