Tunisia’s National Coalition bloc, which backs Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, convened on Friday the first of its meetings to announce the date for the official unveiling of a political party to represent the bloc in upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections.
Despite expectations for the party to make its debut in January 2019, former Nidaa Tounes and current National Coalition member Zahraa Idriss confirmed that the new party will be announced in the coming days.
Idriss hinted that the party will be headed by Chahed.
The preliminary meeting saw the participation of Nidaa Tounes, Afaq Tounes and independent political figures that took part in the 2014 elections.
Top Chahed supporter and head of the National Coalition Mustafa Ben Ahmed stressed during a press briefing a few days ago that the alliance chiefly backs national stability.
Despite publicly backing the PM, Ben Ahmed defended the newly assembled coalition’s impartiality, saying: “We do not follow Chahed’s government and only support national stability.”
Currently, the National Coalition holds 39 parliamentary seats, however, Machrou Tounes with its 14 seat is considering joining the bloc. If successful, the National Coalition become the second largest parliamentary bloc, after Ennahda Movement, which holds 69 seats.
The merger will place the pro-Chahed coalition above Nidaa Tounes, which controls 51 parliamentary seats.
Meanwhile, the parliament is expected to hold a plenary session on December 21 to elect a new president for the Independent High Electoral Commission and pass the renewal of three of its members.
This step is important in ensuring a smooth electoral process, especially after several opposition parties suggested there will be difficulty in holding elections on time.