Tunisia: Nidaa Tounes Lures Back Former Officials Ahead of Elections
Nidaa Tounes, which is led by the president's son Hafez Essebsi, has formed a nine-member national reconciliation committee that is set to hold the necessary consultations to reconcile among the movement’s members.
The committee will seek to reconcile with its former members ahead of the party’s first electoral conference on March 2-3.
Nidaa Tounes official Boudjemaa Remili told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the party is keen to make the upcoming conference successful, describing it as an important stage in running in the presidential and parliamentary elections scheduled for the end of 2019.
Remili stressed the party’s quest for openness to initiatives to keep its centrist role, saying Nidaa Tounes has been working on winning over new members who believe in its political path, as well as readmitting those who had left the party.
A number of politicians have fallen out with Nidaa Tounes and have formed other political parties, such as former Secretary-General Mohsen Marzouk who established Machrouu Tounes party following a dispute with the president’s son.
Also among those who have defected are Said Aidi, secretary general of Beni Watani party, Reda Belhaj and Tahir ibn Husayn.
The bloc of Nidaa Tounes has witnessed a spate of resignations, which led to a drop in the number of its lawmakers from 86 - after winning the parliamentary elections in 2014 - to only 41.
Some observers believe that Nidaa Tounes might make use of the reconciliation committee to lure Prime Minister Youssef Chahed back to the party.