Up to 18,000 members of Ben Ali's RCD party barred from polls

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Tunisia's former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
Tunis, Jun 28: Between 14,000 and 18,000 members of the dissolved Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party of Tunisia's ousted president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and government members of the former regime are to be excluded, as voters or candidates, from the National Constituent Assembly elections to be held on Oct 23, an official said.

Tunis Afrique Presse (TAP) news agency was informed of this by Mustapha Tlili, Chairman of the commission in charge of implementing Article 15 of the decree-law on elections for the National Constituent Assembly.

He said in a statement to TAP that the commission was striving to identify the responsibilities and establish in consequence the list of the dissolved RCD members covered by the measure of exclusion.

The commission's objective is not "to extirpate all those who adhered to the RCD and take revenge on those who harmed the people" he asserted, underlining that the judgement was exclusively stemming from the judiciary system, which explains "the secrecy of the commission''s work".

He said that the commission is also establishing the list of persons who had called on the ousted president to bid for the new presidential term over the 2014-1019 period.

In this connection, the President of the High Authority for the Achievement of the Revolution's Objectives, Political Reform and Democratic Transition will ask, in the coming days, official bodies for the complete list of these persons to put it at the disposal of the High Independent Authority for the Elections.

He asserted that the exclusion of the fallen system's henchmen from the National Constituent Assembly's elections was considered "a victory for the Tunisian people and their glorious Revolution".

The measure of exclusion regarding the dissolved RCD members would concern members of the politburo, the central committee, co-ordination committees and federations, Chairmen of territorial cells, professional federations and cells and RCD, civil servants who had played a key role in the mobilisation for the party's benefit, a member of the commission, Mohamed Ali el Hani, pointed out.

The number of RCD officials concerned by the exclusion reached between 7,000 and 9,000, the same number as that of persons who had called the unseated president to vie for a new presidential term in 2014, that is a total ranging between 14,000 and 18,000 persons, he specified.

PTI (TAP)

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