Post-Election Violence in Central Tunisia

Protesters March to Condemn Disqualification of Candidates

With vote counts showing the Ennadha Party has 90 seats in the 217 seat parliament, violence erupted in the central Sidi Bouzid Province over the disqualification of members of the People’s Petition Party.

A number of candidates for the People’s Petition were disqualified by the nation’s election commission for non-specified funding issues. Tunisian election law bans candidates from accepting funds from private companies or foreign sources, and the bannings are believed to have something to do with the London-based TV station of party leader Hachemi Hamdi.

The Petition won 19 seats, far short of Ennadha’s plurality, but Hamdi was also urging those winners to resign in protest over the bannings. Pro-Petition protesters attacked Ennadha’s provincial headquarters in Sidi Bouzid.

Interestingly even with the bannings it does not appears that the People’s Petition would’ve had anywhere near enough seats to block an Ennadha-led coalition, which is likely to include the moderate Islamists as well as secular conservatives. Ennadha says they intend to put forward former political prisoner Hamadi Jbell as the prime minister candidate.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.