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Nidaa Tounes ‘will nominate Essebsi for the upcoming presidential elections’

Supporters of Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi wave posters depicting his portrait in Tunis, Tunisia on 6 April 2019 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty]
Supporters of Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi wave posters depicting his portrait in Tunis, Tunisia on 6 April 2019 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty]

The Executive Director of the ruling Nidaa Tounes party, Khalid Shaukat, confirmed that the party would nominate Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi, the party’s honorary president and founder, in the upcoming presidential elections scheduled for 17 November 2019.

In a statement to the Qatar News Agency (QNA) Wednesday, Shaukat said that “Tunisia still needs Essebsi who has managed to restore the country’s good image, in addition to the steady improvement he has made at the security level.”

He pointed out that “the limited powers of the Tunisian president, under the Constitution did not prevent him from making important achievements at the forefront of which is keeping Tunisia away from the conflict of axes in the Arab world and protecting Tunisian interests, without threatening the diplomatic relations of the country.”

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi announced at the first conference of Nidaa Tounes on 6 April that he did not want to run for the upcoming presidential elections and that he wanted to enable young people to lead Tunisia in the future.

Khalid Shaukat explained that Nidaa Tounes party, founded by Essebsi in 2012, and which brought him to power in the 2014 elections should be the first to nominate Essebsi and dissuade him from his intention expressed two weeks ago.

READ: Tunisia protests against ‘government policies’

Several leaders of the Nidaa Tounes party announced earlier that President Essebsi, the founder of the party, is the most likely to run as a candidate in the upcoming presidential elections. Political parties and components of political action in Tunisia are engaged in intensive consultations to enter into electoral alliances to present a candidate for the forthcoming presidential elections.

It is noteworthy that two independent figures, Kais Saied, Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Tunisia, and Omar Sehabou, a media and political activist, recently announced their candidacy for the upcoming presidential elections. Further, the Democratic Current party announced on Tuesday the nomination of its new Secretary-General Mohamed Abbou, Minister of Public Service in the Government of the Troika (from 2012 to 2013), for the upcoming elections.

The Initiative Party, which includes members of the Democratic Constitutional Rally, has announced the nomination of its Secretary-General Mr Kamel Morjane, former Minister of Defence for the presidential elections.

The former president, Dr Moncef Marzouki, had also expressed his intention to run again. Mr Mustapha Ben Jaafar, the Chairman of the National Constituent Assembly and the former Secretary-General of the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties did not rule out the possibility of running in the elections. However the head of Ennahda movement, Mr Rached Ghannouchi ruled out his candidacy for the 2019 presidential elections, highlighting his party’s preference for a “consensual candidate” who is expected to be from outside the party.

READ: Tunisia’s ex-president hails Algeria ‘revolution’

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