The head of the Executive Bureau of Tunisia’s Al-Nahda Party has said that the result of the Constituent Assembly election is a “defeat for authoritarianism and a victory for his party”. Engineer Ali Al-Arid claimed that Al Nahda’s success cast aside any doubts about the Islamic movement in Tunisia. And that the “Algerian example” will not be repeated. This was a reference to the Islamic movement’s victory in the 1992 Algerian election which was negated by an army takeover.
Speaking to Quds Press, Mr Al-Arid said that Al-Nahda is preparing to open a national dialogue with the various political forces in the Assembly to develop a plan for the next stage of the democratic process.”First,” he said, “we consider the Constituent Assembly election as a victory for Tunisia and all Tunisians, and a defeat for tyranny and falsehood.” His party’s duty, he added, is to protect all of the country’s gains and then seek partnerships to support those gains and repair what can be repaired.
“We seek real partnership with all political and civil parties and with all the positive forces in our country. Once the results are announced, we will open a dialogue with the various political parties to discuss the formation and structure of the government and next year’s programme; and we, of course, are open to all parties, taking into account the election results.”
Al-Arid praised the international response to the Tunisian election. There have been no obvious Western reservations or indications that the Western governments will change their approach to Tunisia as the results have arisen from the ballot box. “We received assurances that the results will be respected,” he said.
As such, Al-Arid rules out the possibility of a repetition of the Algerian example in Tunisia: “I think that the international circumstances have changed a lot; also the context in which the Tunisian people achieved their victory is different. It is a revolution culminating in a peaceful democratic transformation.” In addition, he believes that the national forces affecting our country, such as the army and other entities, exist in a different context to Algeria. “The political class has shown its maturity and expressed its respect for the results of the ballot box,” he finished, “so the Algerian model is history and will not be repeated in Tunisia.”