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Disagreements Shake Party of Tunisian President’s Son

Disagreements Shake Party of Tunisian President’s Son

Thursday, 14 March, 2019 - 08:15
Hafedh Caid Essebsi. AFP file photo
Tunis - Mongi Saidani
Recent meetings held by top officials of Nidaa Tounes, led by the President’s son, Hafedh Caid Essebsi, revealed sharp differences between its political committee and the executive office comprised of political leaders seeking to unify the party’s ranks.

Nidaa’s first electoral conference has been set for April 6. However, party officials have expressed fears that the event will witness an uncontested election of the president’s son, who heads the political committee.

They have rejected what they called a “political inheritance” inside the party.

The political committee held a meeting on Tuesday to set the stage for the party’s first congress, and to announce its roadmap in putting all partisan differences aside.

The head of the committee preparing for the conference, MP Ridha Charafeddine, defended the event, describing it as a “national mission” despite all the difficulties.

Speaking on the disagreements, top Nidaa official Mohammed Ramzi Khamis indicated that the party has only set a date for the electoral conference, expecting coordination and stronger efforts to ensure its success.

Khamis stated that the body assigned to prepare for the conference had been determined by the political committee, which is the legal and legitimate leadership of the party, hinting at Hafedh Essebsi.

He further denied that any committee member has claimed to be in contact with a grouping, which seeks to unify party ranks and that rejects unilateral decision-making by the president’s son.

The grouping, which includes the membership of Nidaa’s executive office, had called for the formation of a new commission to lead the party until the electoral conference is held in April.

The group’s members condemned the last meeting held between Hafedh Caid Essebsi and head of Ennahda Movement Rached Ghannouchi, putting it in line with his unilateral decision-making.

They also agreed to cancel all decisions to dismiss previous party leaders including Ridha Belhaj, one of Nidaa’s founders, and current Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.

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