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Tunisia

Political Initiative of the Popular Front

Statement by the Popular Front, putting forward an emergency programme that a new transitional government should carry out.

Wednesday 20 February 2013

We reproduce here the statement by the Popular Front* adopted after the mobilization that followed the assassination on February 6 of Chokri Belaïd, leader of the Party of United Democratic Patriots and a leader of the Popular Front. Chokri Belaïd was one of the lawyers who had defended the accused in the Gafsa mining basin under the dictatorship of Ben Ali.

Our country is living today under the impact of the assassination of the general secretary of the Party of United Democratic Patriots and founder of the Popular Front, the militant Chokri Belaïd.

This murder confirms the severity of the crisis facing our country at all levels: political (crisis of the institutions of governance, whose legitimacy and credibility are falling into disrepute), economic, social, cultural and security. This crisis results from the failure of the ruling coalition, led by the "Ennahda movement,” and its inability to resolve the fundamental problems facing the Tunisian people, who are experiencing serious consequences: a rising unemployment rate, the exacerbation of poverty and of the number of people in need, increased marginalization and repression. The government of the troika has shown that it is even unable to carry out a cabinet reshuffle, after consultations that have lasted more than seven months, due to the predominance of the mentality of quotas and of plunder, far removed from the interests of the people and the country.

In this situation, the head of the provisional government has recently announced his decision to carry out a cabinet reshuffle in order to form what he calls a "government of national competence" while stressing his determination to move in that direction regardless of the position of the political parties within and outside the government, paying no attention to the popular rejection of the government and to the protests which have affected all regions of the country and which reached their peak after the martyrdom of Comrade Chokri Belaïd, whose funeral was a referendum against the government and for its resignation.

Faced with these developments, we salute the masses of the Tunisian people for their dynamism and their sympathy with the martyred comrade and for their rejection of political crimes, as well as policies, attitudes and practices that have led to or created a climate conducive to the commission of such crimes.

Accepting our historical responsibilities, we:

1) Consider that the initiative of the head of the provisional government has not broken with the logic of having the sole right to have an opinion, whereas it has no political and socio-economic programme, direct and clearly able to carry out what remains of the transition period. We also believe that the head of the government himself, along with his governmental team, is responsible for the complete fiasco of the government; 2) 3) We stress that the current situation requires a new government, a government of crisis, to save the country, a government limited in size, at the service of the people and the homeland, with the support of the population and of national and progressive and democratic forces, composed of people with the national competence to manage what remains of the transition period, whose members will not stand in the next elections, a government which acts in the framework of the following emergency programme: 4) a) Set a clear agenda for the remainder of the transitional period: b) • complete the drafting of the Constitution, enshrining the aspirations of our people to freedom, dignity, social justice and equality between Tunisians;

• resolve the dossier of the martyrs and the wounded of the revolution;

• draft the electoral law;

• draft a transitional justice law;

• launch regulatory authorities: the electoral commission, the commission