Until recently limited to political differences, the crisis within Nidaa Tounes party turned violent and when a group of thugs attacked a hotel, where the executive bureau of the party was preparing to hold a meeting, at Hammamat, last Sunday. The incident has tarnished the image of the party and brought in the public arena deep disagreements among the leadership of the party. Long postponed since its founding, the holding of the constituent congress meeting of the party has hastened the disintegration of different groups (former RCD members, Destourian loyalists, leftists, liberals, and deep state figures) that unified and formed Nidaa Tounes to counter-balance Ennahdha. At the centre of the crisis is the role of Hafedh Caid Essebsi, son of President Beji Essebsi, in running the affairs of the party. Hafedh Essebsi is vice-president of the Nidaa Tounes that is presided by Mohamed Ennaceur, who is also the speaker of the parliament. The thugs’ disturbance of the party’s Hammamat meeting was blamed on Hafedh Essebsi who is accused by his opponents of trying to stage a coup against the current leadership of the party ahead of the upcoming constituent congress. This unprecedented crisis within Nidaa Tounes has prompted 32 MPs (mostly leftists) of the party to leave the party’s parliamentary block and form an independent one. Speaking on behalf of the rebel deputies, Mohamed Troudi, even let it heard that the 32-MPs groups might even resign from Nidaa Tounes and form a new party, if Hafedh Essebsi were not reined in and the current party’s legitimacy upheld. The crisis alarmed President Beji Caid Essebsi and immediately called for a meeting at Carthage Palace on Monday. The meeting was however boycotted by Hafedh Essebsi’s opponents, who charged President Beji Essebsi of partiality in favour of his son’s clan in an open letter. The latest developments in what Kapitalis, a liberal news portal, called the last phase of Hafedh Essebsi’s coup has been his announcement on Tuesday 3 Nov. that the congress meeting of the party would take place around mid-December. Observers of Tunisian affairs consider that the current crisis within Nidaa Tounes was inevitable. Having been bound by solely their opposition to Ennahdha rather than a meeting of minds around a political project of society the party was doomed once the main adversary (Ennahdha) was defeated in elections. The other casualty of this ongoing crisis is the status of President Beji Essebsi, who has become to be viewed even by some of his loyalists as taking the side of his son and grooming for power as Egypt’s Mubarak attempted with his Gamal.

Links for more information:

Assemblée : Démission de 32 députés du bloc de Nidaa Tounes

Lettre ouverte des démocrates de Nidaa Tounes en France

Nidaa : Une réunion à Carthage… pour rien !


Un Caïd Essebsi en cache un autre : Quand le fils détruit l’oeuvre du père

Nidaa : Hafedh Caïd Essebsi annonce son plan de reprise en main !


Posted by Editor