Insults and threats as Tunisia heads for presidential vote

Aggressive campaigning and poisonous atmosphere

18 November, 15:47

    (ANSAmed) - ROME, NOVEMBER 18 - The headiness of the Tunisian uprising seems a distant memory, superseded by verbal aggressiveness as the country readies for its first post-revolution presidential vote. Against a backdrop of apparent apathy, the harsh words being lobbed back and forth may foster divides difficult to mend even after a new head of state is sworn in. There are two main candidates in the running: Beji Caid Essebsi, the Nidaa Tounes leader in his late eighties, and the much-criticized outgoing president Moncef Marzouki. Over the past few hours, two of the minor candidates with considerable backgrounds have dropped out of the running - Mustapha Kamel Nebli, former central bank governor, and Noureddine Hached, former labour minister and ambassador - due to the poisonous atmosphere that has arisen in recent weeks. The harsh campaigning is resulting in a bipolarization that - instead of being the result of political or ideological analysis - is based on the need to choose between a man who has been on the political scene for over fifty years and another who seems intent on garnering support solely on the basis of hatred towards his rival. Essebsi is continuing with his campaign based on reassurances and calming statements. Marzouki instead continues to demonize his adversary, saying he is a successor to the tradition established by Bourghiba and Ben Ali in an attempt to whip up support among the Tunisian 'left' and make people voters his 'improvised' presidential term and track record of unwise choices. Marzouki has tried to get support from any and all in order to win: his old enemies in Ben Ali's party, the RCD; Islamic fundamentalists; the parties of the former government coalition (Ettakatol and Ennahdha); and the violent Leagues for the Protection of the Revolution (LPR).

    This 'armada' has resorted to any and all tactics, ranging from threats of ''bloodshed'' should Essebsi win (by Imed Daghij, a leader of the LPR) to the putting the European Central Bank (ECB) on the same level as Hitler (by Elyes Fakhfalh, enfant prodige of Ettakatol and former minister). The current hope is that the bitterness and aggressiveness will dissolve once the winner has been announced, thereby enabling the country to build a better future. (ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean