Founding leaders of the “Free Constitutional Party” in Tunisia announced that they had canceled the exemption and expulsion decisions issued by the party’s leader, Abeer Moussa, calling on their supporters to an electoral conference, with the aim of “rehabilitating and correcting the path.”
Many considered that raising the veto by these leaders in the face of the party’s president and mobilizing their supporters for the electoral conference next August, would open the door to an internal battle, as Moussa is accused of seizing the party and expelling anyone who disagrees with her opinion within it.
The establishment of the first nucleus of the Free Destourian Party dates back to the late Hamid Karoui, Prime Minister during the era of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, on September 23, 2013 under the name “Constitutional Movement.” Then Moussa assumed the presidency of the party in 2016 within a consensual electoral conference.
The same leaders also announced, “the formation of a national committee comprising a number of party members to oversee the good preparation for the success of the party’s next electoral conference, scheduled to be held in August 2021.”
During the symposium, all “fighters of the expanded constitutional family who are committed to the political line were invited to join the party, turn the page of the past and distance themselves from all differences.”
The Secretary-General of the Free Constitutional Party, Hatem Al-Ammari, says – to Al-Jazeera Net – that the announcement by the founding leaders of the start of a corrective and reform path for the party, aimed at restoring legitimacy and rehabilitating the expelled by an unfair personal decision of the party leader, after the judiciary gave them justice, as he put it.
He stressed that Moussa’s management of the party and its uniqueness in making decisions within it, harmed its image, declaring that it was time to hold the first democratic electoral conference, after the party’s consensual conference in 2016, which led to the appointment of Moussa as party leader and Hatem al-Ammari as its secretary general.
Al-Ammari expressed his fears that the Free Destourian Party, which enjoys wide popularity, according to polling numbers, will meet the fate of other parties, such as Nidaa Tounes and others, because of the management method and the expulsion of every opposition voice.
For her part, the head of the Free Constitutional Court rushed to publish a statement to the public, accusing the founding and angered leaders of the party of “impersonating leaders in the Political Bureau and using fraudulent documents to deceive the media.”
In another statement, Moussa called on her supporters for a protest stop at the end of the week, accusing the exiled party leaders of forming a “criminal accord”, with the support of “the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood” with the aim of putting pressure on the party and changing its political line.
Activist and political analyst Mahdi Abdel-Gawad believes – in a statement to Al-Jazeera Net – that what is happening in the Free Constitutional Party of internal conflict and leadership dispute, reflects a general and deep crisis experienced by the majority of Tunisian parties after the revolution.
He pointed out that this party does not have a clear political program or project. On the other hand, he promotes himself as the first ideological opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood and parties with an Islamic reference, especially the Ennahda Movement.
He pointed out that the Constitutional Movement, founded by Prime Minister Karoui, which is the party’s first nucleus, aimed to strike the party of late President Beji Caid Essebsi as part of a battle over the constitutional heritage.
He stressed that leadership struggles and internal battles within this party or others, will only worsen the political scene in Tunisia, at a time when the struggle between the cracks between the parties is no longer a preoccupation for Tunisians in light of an epidemic and a stifling economic crisis.
He points to a general phenomenon that has distorted the democratic path in Tunisia since the revolution, which is represented in most parties’ lack of a culture of democracy in the way they run their affairs, and the absence of dialogue mechanisms to resolve internal conflicts, which accelerates the dispersal or demise of parties, similar to what happened with the “Nidaa Tounes” party.