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Tunisia: Zbidi 'I am ready to work with Ennahdha, not as ally'

Tunisia’s Defence Minister. Abdelkrim Zbidi (L) [Erin A. Kirk-Cuomo /Wikipedia]

Current presidential candidate and defence minister Abdelkarim Zbidi said, Wednesday, he is ready to work with all parties, including Ennahda while denying comments attributed to him about allying with the movement.

This came in exclusive statements Zbidi made to the local radio, Mosaique FM, in response to his interview with Reuters, on Tuesday.

Zbidi stated: "I was asked about the way I will be approaching the parliament without being a party member. So, I answered that I would take the same distance from all parties. Then, I was asked again about whether this rule applies to the Ennahda party too, and I said yes."

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He added: "I did not say I will be allying, but rather to work with all the parties that want to work with us."

Zbidi insisted: "Legislative initiatives require a majority, and we have programs of initiatives which require a two-thirds majority to ratify some of the bills, so I said we need to work with all parties."

He asserted: "Tunisia is a small country. However, our country's geographical location and history enable it to embrace all Tunisians and all those who want to serve their homeland."

According to observers, several candidates use a tactic of accusing their rivals of engaging in alliances with Ennahda, of embarrassing them and attract anti-Ennahda voters.

On 15 September, 26 candidates will compete in the first round to win the early presidential elections.

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