SHAFAQNA –Tunisia’s next government should be a broad as possible coalition so that it has the necessary support to implement difficult economic reforms, the outgoing prime minister said Friday in an implicit backing of an Islamist-secular alliance.
A secular nationalist party called Nidaa Tounes won the most seats in October’s parliamentary election on an explicitly anti-Islamist platform.
While the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party came in second, many Nidaa Tounes officials have characterized any potential alliance as “unnatural.”
Without the Islamists, who hold 69 seats to Nidaa Tounes’ 86 seats in the 217 member assembly, the new government coalition would be fairly weak.
“Obviously to pass reforms, you need a large consensus,” Mehdi Jomaa told the Associated Press while attending the 15th biannual summit of French speaking countries in Dakar, Senegal. “Considering the difficulties that we have, (the governing coalition) has to be the largest possible and what’s more it has to be open to an opposition.”