Liberal party won't field candidates in Tunisia polls

Liberal party won't field candidates in Tunisia polls

Tunisia gears up for first municipal elections since 2011 popular uprising

By Adel al-Thabti

TUNIS (AA) - Tunisia’s liberal Free Patriotic Union (FPU) on Tuesday announced it would not field candidates in municipal elections slated for May 6.

At a press conference in capital Tunis, FPU Vice-President Samira al-Shawashi attributed the move to what she described as “the lack of a legal framework” regulating the upcoming polls.

Al-Shawashi also reiterated her party’s rejection of the kind of “polarization” seen in previous elections.

Tunisia’s 2014 legislative elections were characterized by deep social polarization between the Ennahda movement and the secular Nida Tounes party, both of which now share power in a coalition government.

Al-Shawashi further attributed her party’s decision to stay out of the polls to the alleged “harassment” of recently-resigned FPU leader Slim Riahi.

Riahi stepped down as party leader last year amid multiple allegations of corruption.

On May 6, Tunisia will hold its first municipal polls since a 2011 popular uprising ended the regime of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after almost 25 years in power.

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