1. What is your link with the Foundation Max van der Stoel?
Our party, the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties (FDTL), also called Ettakatol, is member of the Socialist International, observer member of the Party of European Socialists (PES) and one of the co-founding members of the Progressive Alliance. In these frameworks we have always had a cooperation with the Dutch Labour Party (PvdA) and its political international Foundation Max van der Stoel (FMS). The FMS has been supporting us since several years in terms of trainings on topics such as campaigning and communication.
2. On 27 January the new Constitution of Tunisia was adopted. The new constitution has been praised as one of the most progressive in the Arab world. What are the key issues in the new Constitution and what do you think the new constitution will mean for the future of the country?
The struggle of Ettakatol has been a “Constitutional” struggle from the very beginning. And it has also been about how to achieve a wide consensus in order to approve this constitution in its first reading. Today, the victory of our party is immense, at least 90% of Ettakatol´s programme issues (in 100 points http://www.ettakatol.org/programme/Prog_fr) is part of the Tunisian Constitution, which is the most democratic, the most progressive and the most attached to universal human rights in the Arab world. This struggle has been won thanks to our activists, our Parliamentarians and in particular our female Parliamentarians and the president of the Constituent Assembly, who is also the leader of our party: Mr Mustapha Ben Jaafar. This constitution is a real hope for the rest of the Arab revolutions, it is also a solid base to anchor the first Arab democracy. We are proud.
3. Just before the adoption of the new constitution the new prime minister, Mehdi Jomaa, appointed an interim government as part of a deal to end a crisis between Tunisia's Islamist Ennahda party and its secular opposition until new elections this year. What are the main challenges for the country in the near future?
The main challenge is to create a climate of confidence for the next elections, particularly for us the FDTL. Since 2 years we have called for a national unity government that would lead to elections, so this was one of our demands and it has been fulfilled. Each party can now focus on the upcoming elections.