05 December 2012 5:37 pm | | 2


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Tunisian National Constituent Assembly

Opposition members of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) plan to call for a three-day boycott of plenary sessions to express solidarity with the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT), which claims that affiliates of the ruling Ennahdha party attacked its members yesterday.

A small group of assailants attacked UGTT members in front of their headquarters yesterday, and union members say the attackers were part of the League for the Protection of the Revolution, an unofficial network that supports Ennahdha. The party has denied that the attackers were members of the League.

“We will do the boycott of the plenary session to affirm our support for the UGTT and to force the dissolution of the League for the Protection of the Revolution,” said Mohamed El Hamdi, a member of the opposition Republican Party.

The opposition will announce at a press conference tomorrow their plans for the boycott, which will last from this Thursday through Monday, El Hamdi said.

The UGTT called for a general strike tomorrow in the interior city of Sidi Bouzid, the birthplace of the revolution, two days after the assailants attacked its members in the latest instance of violence that the opposition has blamed on the League.

“We hope that our action will ring the alarm,” El Hamdi said. “There are great risks that arise from this violence.”

The UGTT members were attacked in Tunis during the annual commemoration of the assassination of Farhat Hached, the independence activist who founded the union. The union boycotted the official procession for Hached today in protest of the government’s handling of yesterday’s violence.

El Hamdi said that the NCA members will boycott sessions for three days—even as the UGTT has only called for one day of protests—to make a “strong” statement and to allow time to consider additional actions.

“It will be difficult for the [ruling coalition] Troika to pass articles without us,” El Hamdi said. “For the moment, I can’t imagine how they will proceed during this time.”

Ennahdha released a statement today in which it rejected the use of violence and called for an independent investigation to determine the identity of the attackers and bring to justice “those responsible for breaking the law, regardless of their rank or association.”

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