26 - 08
The Tunisian political opposition on Saturday night held its “Rahil Rally” near the National Constituent Assembly building, insisting on the resignation of the current government and assembly. They also demanded for the dissolution of the elected body charged with the responsibility of writing a new country’s post-revolution constitution.
The rally took place just after the Tunisian trade union (UGTT) sent the ruling party leadership proposals to the opposition. The Ennahdha party, in a meeting with UGTT, agreed to dissolve its government. However, the party insisted that its government would continue until after the national dialogue that is expected to produce a new government. The opposition on the other hands maintained that the government should resign before they can go in for any talks.
The Rahil week (departure week) announced on 13 August by Hama Hamami, a popular Front leader, kicked off on Saturday with the rally. The campaigners were urging for sit-ins across Tunisia, the toppling of the government and the resignation of the assembly.
The Saturday Rahil rally began by 6 p.m with the protesters marching from the Tunis neighbourhood of Bab Saadoun to Bardo Square. By 7:30PM, the marchers were already at Bardo Square. There were musical performances as well as speeches from politicians. Fireworks were used to charge the atmosphere.
Many prominent figures have reacted to the development in the country. Noomane Fehri, a member of NCA which has withdrawn its opposition, said that the government must be dissolved. Fehri believes that it would be better to resign after an independent body of experts headed by nationally known personnel in the country has been picked in order to prevent a void in the office.
Khmais Ksila, another member of the opposition party, and Nidaa Tounes said that Ennahdha surprised him by not meeting their demands.
On its own part, the ruling party has said publicly that it would not resign. The party mentioned that it only accepted to discuss under the framework of the UGTT.
The turn up in the rally was encouraging, thousands of people attended. The number of demonstrators in the Rahil Rally was not as huge as the August 6th rally organized to mark the Chokri Belaid’s six-month assassination anniversary.
By Justin Anumiri