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Youssef Chahed claims not to be "tempted by 2019 presidential elections

Published the:  22/12/2018

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(TAP) - Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said the forthcoming presidential election "is not tempting and is not a priority for him,” calling "the progressive democrats and patriots" to unite for a project "that would bring the dream back to Tunisians."

In an interview with Attassiaa TV on Friday night, he specified that he does not think about the 2019 elections but called for the unity of the "democratic and progressive family," indicating that the current political landscape "is chaotic" and Tunisia needs a project that brings the dream back to the Tunisians provided that they "break with the mistakes of the past."

"The project of unification of this political family must see the light but requires several conditions, including the break with corruption, the adoption of internal democracy and the resort to competences," he pointed out.

Besides, Chahed denied that his relationship with President Beji Caid Essebsi is tense, saying that he co-operates with him within the framework of the law and the Constitution.

"I informed him of my recent visit to Saudi Arabia and gave him a detailed report on this visit," he specified. "However, he acknowledged that this relationship has changed after the televised speech that the Head of State had delivered on May 29 and in which he had criticised Nidaa Tounes Executive Director and son of the President Hafedh Caid Essebsi.

Regarding his dispute with the latter, the PM reiterated that he "destroyed the party and wanted to treat the state as if it is a private property."

Chahed pointed out that Nidaa Tounes in which he had militated "no longer exists" and that the current leadership "does not represent the broad bases of the party and those who today demand his resignation from his post as prime minister among the leaders of the current party, want to postpone the elections to a later date and appropriate power to free the corrupt.

He underlined that he will continue his mission as premier "to lead the country to the general elections in 2019" that will be transparent and fair like the last municipal elections held in April and May 2018."

In response to a question about his relations with the Ennahdha Movement and about the accusations that he would be the henchman at the Kasbah, Chahed replied that "the influence and size of the Ennahdha movement in its government are much smaller than its influence and size in Parliament."

He added in this regard: "I belong to the national democratic family and to my national and progressive beliefs and if parties want to rule without Ennahdha they must beat it in the elections."

On the path of transitional justice and the performance of the Truth and Dignity Commission as well as the recent controversy over the amount of compensation for the victims of oppression and tyranny, he acknowledged that Tunisians have failed to "reconcile in a global way" and that transitional justice "divided Tunisians."

He explained this by the "delay in achieving transitional justice, the politicisation of the issue, the management and functioning of the IVD as well as the personality of its president.

Chahed said in this regard that his government will propose a bill allowing the participation of all parties to the objectives of transitional justice, to finalise the transitional justice process