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Youssef Chahed announces his decision to run for President [Upd 1]

Published the:  08/08/2019

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(TAP) - Tahya Tounes party president and Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, on Thursday, announced his decision to run in the early presidential elections after a unanimous vote for his candidacy at a meeting of the party’s extended National Council held at the Convention Centre in Tunis.

Youssef Chahed said at the meeting he was not the candidate of Ennahdha and that he could not be the "rare bird" of this party.

"I am still Prime Minister and I am going to run for President,” Chahed said, apparently addressing the president of the Ennahdha movement, referring to the conditions imposed by the party if he stands for the Presidency.

He said he had been the target of a "smear campaign" because of his fight against corruption.

"We have submitted laws to fight against corruption and a law amending the electoral code that requires the payment of taxes by any candidate in elections," he said in this vein.

"We have come to fight corruption and terrorism and achieve development," he said, noting that his government has encountered "major obstacles" aimed at bringing down the government.

Chahed defended his government's three-year record, saying he had "greened" the economic indicators after inheriting a country threatened by terrorism.

He recalled the completion of two power plants, one in Borj Al Amri and the other in Radès and, for the first time, the installation of a photovoltaic power plant in Tozeur.

He also said he had worked on reforming the pension system, raising pensions by 6% a year and working on a social security law covering 950,000 families.

For his part, Slim Azzabi, Secretary-General of Tahya Tounes said the political body has backed the decision of Youssef Chahed to run for the presidential race "because of his political competence and ability to lead the state."

He said "no one was targeted like Youssef Chahed because he refused to yield to dictates and to cooperate with the corrupt, smugglers and outlaws".

Regarding internal disagreements within the party and the resulting resignations, Azzabi said his party has set up a committee of wise men to gather its members and "bring the malcontents back as soon as possible."

The date of filing nominations for the early presidential election that will take place on September 15 expires on Friday, August 9