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What will the opposition in Tunisia oppose?

Since the announcement of the first results of the elections of October 23, Najib Chebbi’s PDP has publicly positioned itself in the opposition. The second party to do the same, recently, was Afek Tunes. Theoretically, therefore, Tunisia will have three ruling parties and a slew of parties in the opposition.

Without opposition, there is no democracy. The only symbolic gesture of opposition was made last Tuesday by Maya Jribi. Specifically, what could be an opposition to a ruling power in Tunisia about which the Secretary General of the PDP said on Wednesday in the Tunisian National Radio that “it is a coalition that does not meet the aspirations of the people,” is structurally fragmented and ideologically dispersed. It does not know if it is not already practicing passive or active opposition, as it does not yet know what it is going to oppose.

In front of this opposition, in fact, there is essentially the hegemonic party Ennahdha, which is supported by the “common people” who see in it the embodiment of religion and the West which sees it a way to experience “in vitro” a new political system that it could transpose in or at least advise an Arab world in turmoil.

This party, Ennahdha, has given evidence of its openness through its speech and even accepted the freedom of women, bikini and alcoholic beverages.

In front of the Islamist party, there is an opposition which has not become yet convinced of the forked tongue and double discourse of its leaders. This future opposition still cannot leave its offices to go on the ground, in small towns where Ennahdha was easily able to mobilize the troops against them, to hold awareness meetings and seminars on the real designs of Ennahdha, which it knows very well without wanting to believe in, its vision of society, its economic program and its vision of a secular state, while respecting the religious essence of the people.

The first action of this future opposition, however, should be carried out on the economic budget and the Finance Act that will determine the outcome of the second transitional period and will also determine the success or failure of the governing coalition. These two documents, the budget and the Finance Act, however, still remain state secrets and no opposition party has not yet received and did even less requested them. This was confirmed Wednesday, November 23, 2011, to the National Radio, by representatives of Ettajdid and Afek Tunes. Any proposal begins, however, when becoming aware of what exists. No one, except, probably, Ennahdha, knows nothing about this

The second action of the opposition would then pertain, in our view, to the management of the economic and social situation prevailing in Tunisia and which still feeds people’s discontent. The ruling power and the opposition will then have to agree either on a political and social management of the economic file, or on an economic management that maintains the production equipment and consolidates its achievements, especially in the export of goods and services.

The last action of this opposition, and not in the pejorative and negative sense, should be, always in our opinion, the issue of financial resources, specifically debt. Face to face, the ruling power and the opposition will have to agree and perhaps compete on how to provide funds to Tunisia that would allow the country to meet the expectations of the people and the Revolution in terms of unemployment, more jobs, growth and wealth creation to be shared among classes and regions, among others. The Government and the opposition have to agree on whether Tunisia should or should no longer contract debt. And if it does, would it be only to provide social benefits and allowances or to strengthen means of production, to pay back the 500 MTD given to the unemployed of the initiative… or to empower young graduates to create their own businesses and create new jobs? In short, to become an opposition of national interest.

To do so, the hundred of parties out of power and in and outside the Constituent Assembly, must first stop their partisan wrangling, agree on the national interest of the country which they all want to govern and come together against the triumvirate that has taken control of both legislative and executive branches. For now, they seem to be light years away of that.


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