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Tunisia: General Labor Union Prepares Thousands for Election Monitoring

Tunisia: General Labor Union Prepares Thousands for Election Monitoring

Wednesday, 8 May, 2019 - 07:45
A man raises his ink-stained finger after casting his vote at a polling station for the municipal election in Tunis, Tunisia, May 6, 2018. (File Photo: Reuters)
Tunis - Mongi Saidani
Thousands of members of Tunisia’s General Labor Union (UGTT) are set to have a presence in polling stations to monitor this year’s presidential and parliamentary elections and the vote count.

UGTT’s Noureddine Taboubi urged unionists to head polling stations across Tunisia to ensure a transparent electoral process.

Taboubi also called on unionists to play the role of observers in polling stations.

Top UGTT officials have said the union will not have candidates in the parliamentary and presidential elections, but will support political parties, which adopt its social and economic programs.

The ruling coalition parties in Tunisia have accused the Union on more than one occasion of neglecting its role and resorting to political activities instead.

Their accusation came after UGTT expressed its support for social movements, called for general strikes to press wage demands and criticized the government's social and economic policies.

On the other hand, two political initiatives, representing Tunisia’ independent forces, announced a unified electoral list to ensure greater chances of winning the elections.

They plan to form a unified electoral strategy, and to contact leaders of a number of national initiatives that share the same political, economic, and social visions in an attempt to create an electoral front capable of competing with Tunisia’s largest parties, mainly Nidaa Tounes and the Islamist Ennahda Movement.

Meanwhile, “Nousharek” initiative formed a committee of rapprochement with other initiatives, including well-known political figures such as Hossam al-Hami, Qasim Aafia, Zuhair al-Bazi, Leila al-Daimi and Mohamed Bennour.

By unifying its efforts, this initiative seeks to score the same important electoral gains that independent electoral lists made in the municipal elections of May 6, 2018.

Coordinator of the Civil Initiatives Coalition Nousharek, Hossam al-Hami told Asharq Al-Awsat that the alliance’s National Authority decided to unify the forces to support independent voters.

Hami indicated that Nousharek took the decision to form unified coalition lists along with the independent civil initiatives, which share the same principles and objectives.

He pointed out that the initiative is working with all democratic forces to ensure transparent elections. 

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