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Political Activity Declines in Tunisia amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Political Activity Declines in Tunisia amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Tuesday, 31 March, 2020 - 07:30
The empty old city during a daily curfew as part of precautions against coronavirus in Tunis, Tunisia. (EPA)
Tunis - Mongi Saidani

The government of Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh succeeded in overcoming opposition pressure after the country became preoccupied with the fight against the coronavirus outbreak.

The ruling coalition led by the Ennahda Movement is now relatively safe from the criticism that has been dealt against it for several years.

A number of political parties, such as the Heart of Tunisia, the second biggest party with 38 parliamentary seats, had confirmed that all political activities and meetings will be suspended until the coronavirus crisis eases.

The other political parties have also disappeared from the general scene. They are not holding public activities and nor virtual meetings. It seems that they are experiencing a dangerous existential crisis, Tunisian political analyst Sarhan Chikhaoui told Asharq Al-Awsat.

In this regard, another analyst Naji al-Abbasi said he expects that all political parties in Tunisia, including those in power and others that joined the opposition, to restructure themselves.

Opposition parties in Tunisia include the Free Constitutional Party led by Abir Moussa, Al Karama coalition led by Seifeddine Makhlouf and the Tunisian General Labor Union.

Last week, Ennahda Movement leader and Speaker Rached Ghannouchi said the country is at war against the coronavirus and called for joint efforts to fight it.

He said the current phase requires vision, unity and boldness.

The ruling coalition took a series of measures to help the neediest categories to combat the virus.

However, such steps did not stop Tunisians from lashing out at all political parties, from both the opposition and the ruling class, who accused them of making false promises before the elections.

In this regard, comments posted on the social media called for early elections in Tunisia to change the current political class.

Those posts criticized the ruling class of being “opportunists” by only standing by the Tunisian people during elections.

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