National Dialogue… a concept that has been used recently in Tunisia by politicians, leaders, normal citizens and was supposed to lift the country out of crisis and relieving it from its actual state of tension and political confrontation. Latterly, National Dialogue has come to an end and Tunisian concerns swiftly shifted to the new Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa.
Jomaa, 52, an independent technocrat, has been elected Tunisia’s caretaker PM after favorably winning 9 parties’ votes, most notably Ennahdha movement; while the National Salvation Front withdrew from the meeting as well as Nidaa Tounes which did not participate in the voting process.
Opposition parties criticized the designation of Mehdi Jomaa to lead an independent government until the general election. From his part, Beji Caid Essebsi -head of Nidaa Tounes movement, the most prominent opposition party in Tunisia- announced in a statement to local radio stations that the nomination did not lead to “concord” between the desired political parties, but “divided the political landscape into two bisectors.”
Essebsi further explained the withdrawal of his party from the voting process, pointing out that “the National Dialogue deviated from the correct direction and entered into other mazes.” He added that “the thing that we must reach (through negotiation) is concord… but if the National Dialogue results in splitting the political landscape into two parts, this is undesirable and not good, and I don’t think that Tunisia will be gaining too much in this manner.”
When it comes to one of the leaders of Nidaa Tounes- Ridha Belhaj’s viewpoint, he stated to Mosaique FM that despite his neutrality when talking about partisan affiliations, “everyone knows that Mehdi Jomaa is pretty close to the Ennahdha movement.”
In the same framework, Mongi Rahoui –the leader of the Popular Front- declared in a statement to Shems FM that the government that Jomaa is supposed to form will be “ a third vision of the Troika one.”
In addition, the Republican Party leader Issam Chebbi announced in a statement to Mosaique FM that the parties which participated in the voting process “will bear their choices’ responsibilities”, pointing out that “the National Dialogue did not reach a concord” on electing an independent PM.
The next step for the new PM Mehdi Jomaa will be choosing a new interim government very soon.