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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Parliament Maghreb Committee: Tunisian People deserve a Real Choice on Alternatives in 2019 Votes

EU Parliament Maghreb Committee: Tunisian People deserve a Real Choice on Alternatives in 2019 Votes

Автор ACM
Thursday, 14 June 2018

 

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*Strasbourg/EU-Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- Stressing the Importance of the forthcoming Parliamentary and Presidential Elections in Tunisia on 2019, EU Parliament's competent Committee on Maghreb Countries launched a stern Warning, in substance, that the People of one among the  Countries which are Closest to Europe, (Both Historically, GeoPoliticaly and by Recent Policy Decisions),  have an Urgent and Serious Need to Prepare Well the Crucial, forthcoming, Presidential and Pariamentarian, Elections of 2019, Because, Otherwise, in Practice, they Risk to have No Real Choice between Alternative Policies, (See Infra), Contrary to what is an elementary Principle in any real Democracy.

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Tunisia notoriously is the Cradle of "Arab Spring", the Country with a "Model" Constitution since 2014 (See Infra), Proud to have an Ancient Civilisation since the 8th Century Before Christ, which Spread at Both Sides : North and South of the Mediterranean Sea during the 3rd and 2nd Centuries BC, (f.ex. also in Sicily, Corsica, Balear Islands, Sardaigne, Gibraltar, Spain, etc), while Hannibal notoriously crossed the Swiss Alps Mountains, reaching even Rome's surrounding area. After becoming the Precious "Grenary" of the Roman Empire, in a Strategic position Later Revendicated even by the Byzantine Empire, the Normands, France, and various others in the Past, and, following National Independence and Modernisation under President Bourguiba, Tunis Hosted UNO's World Internet Forum (after Geneva, and before Athens) at the Beginning of 2000ies, while Tunisia recently Compeets with Morocco for the Most Linked to EU/CoE among South Mediterranean Countries, and its NGOs were Recently Awarded the prestigious NOBEL Peace Prize on 2015.

 

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So that several MEPs' Denunciations of current Risks for a "Silent", Abstentionist 2/3 Majority of Tunisian People to be Obliged to have No real Choice soon, but to Fall in the Hands of one or another, more or less Radical, "Islamist" Party, pushed by Less of a 1/3 Minority, linked to Controversial "Muslim Brotherhood" (often accused even for Terrorism), and reportedly subordinated to the Foreign Influence of the (even more Controversial) ...Turkish President Tayip Erdogan's oppressive regime, (etc), as if Tunisia had Fallen Back in the Medieval Era of a mere Subordinate Local Part of the Former Othoman-Turk Empire, naturally provokes serious Concerns to European politicians, who Urged Today for EU Help (including, mainly Economic) to a Democratic Tunisia, (See Infra).

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 - It all Started with an Announcement, by the EU Chief Observer on Tunisia, and EU Parliament's vice-President, Italian MEP Fabio Massimo Castaldo, from the Biggest Political Party in the New Government in Rome, (the "5 Stars Movement", Member of the "Freedom and Direct Democracy" Group in EU Parliament),  who spoke about a "Strong Will" by the Tunisian Parliament to "Ensure" an "Operational and Independent" Institutional Framework, particularly "for the Presidential Elections of 2019", in order "not to Call in Question the Trust on the Constitution"" :

 

-"A Model Text", of "High Quality", since the Historic Reform of "2014", in the Country which is the Birthplace of the "Arab Spring", he topically reminded.((omp., inter alia, f.ex. : the Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions by the President of the Tunisian Constituent Assembly, Ben Jafaar, as early as since already 2012, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/tunisianrevolutionideasondemocracy.html, but also : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/sarkozymediterraneanrenaissance.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/egyptetunisiangos.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/laurenstunisiamoroccodemocracyforum.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/tunisiaconsuloneufaireconomyandconstitution.html etc)

 

 

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 => - For that purpose, among others,  a "Constitutional Court" is due to "be Up and Running" Soon, in order "to Ensure full Compliance" with the Constitution, and help for any relevant "Crisis to be Resorbed", while EU Chief Observer, EU Parliament's vice-President Castaldo has already scheduled to personally "Go to Tunisia on July" 2018.

 

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The Occasion to Open a Debate in EU Parliament on the forthcoming, Crucial Parliamentary and Presidential Tunisian Elections of 2019 in Tunisia, was given, Today, by a scheduled Discussion of a "Report on the Local Elections", recently held in Tunisia on May 2018, which served as a real-time Testbed to take the pulse of the Political Life in that Key Country nowadays, (Comp. Infra).


- Thus, inter alia, f.ex., MEPs Observed that, while 42% of the Population is Under - 34 Years Old, and Many Young Candidates had been among those Standing to be Elected in 2018, Nevertheless,  at a National Level, Country-Wide, the Turnout of Young People in order to Vote in these Elections was particularly Low. This could be due also to the Fact that 30% of Young People in Tunisia are Graduates, but Jobless, and this might impact also on the Next Elections, as a French MEP pointed out.


+ But, Moreover, it was Only about 1/3 (One Third) of the Registered Voters who actually Casted their Vote in the Ballot Box on 2018, while the Tunisian "People are Fed up with the Political Class" of the Establishment in general, as EU Parliament's vice-President Castaldo had already observed from the outset.


- Even if he Noted, as far as the Conditions in which those Local Elections were held, that, despite "some" secondary problems, in general, they were "a Real Step Forward" for Democracy in Tunisia, (especially Compared to the Past, and  considering also the Fact that the relevant Law on Local DeCentralisation had been Just Adopted, Shortly Before the Elections).


=> But their Outcome presents "2 Problems", Critically observed another MEP : First, it shows that "Democracy is still Fragile" in Tunisia, Because "2/3 of the People Abstained". Moreover, those who Snaped Most of the Votes were from an "Islamist Party close to (the Turkish President) Erdogan", he pointed out. And this even included "a Preacher who has been OutLawed in France, Banned even in Egypt : his own Country, and put at a "Wanted" List by InterPol. I.e. something which "gives you the Shivers !"


>>> Therefore, "Tunisia, which is, perhaps, the Only Country in that area that has a Chance to Activate Democracy, Must get Help from EU Parliament", he concluded.


+ AnOther (Lady) MEP denounced also the Fact that a "Leading" Candidate in a Major List on 2018 had been "Campaigning Against the Celibacy of Women", while, "in the HeadQuarters" of a Major Political Party, "Only Men were visible", while, on the Contrary, "All Women were Hidden Behind a Screen !". In consequence, "we (EU) must be Carefull against any hypocritical Double-Talk" and "Vigilant", she urged.


=> That's why in Tunisia, "the Fight Against Political Islam" is linked with Efforts to Help its "Economy", and calls for "a New Economic Development", and this should, normally, "Incite EU Commission" to act, stressed in substance anOther MEP. But, "is EU Commission really Playing the Game", or, perhaps, "Tunisia might be the Victim" of 1 or 2 Commissioners' Policy ?, he Questioned, while Urging to "Re-Balance" EU's policies, in this regard.


- Indeed, even "in Europe, Democracy wasn't Built in just 4 Years" (i.e. as, for Tunisia, between the New Constitution of 2014 and the Local Elections of 2018 : Comp. Supra), "but We too Needed even several Decades", pointed out anOther MEP, Concluding that "EU must Help Tunisia", "particularly in Financial terms", and "Be Present in the Tunisian Economy".


- "EU Must be Vigilant", because we Already shaw Abstention Grow in Morocco on 2016, and now "Fragilise Democracy in Tunisia" on 2018, observed anOther MEP, who Urged for "Europe to Help Tunisia" on Time, in the current run up to the "Important Parliamentarty and Presidential Elections of 2019".


 - Particularly since a "Worrying Division" surfaces when State "Power is at Stake", especially by a "Political Islam", "Historically Close to "Muslim Brothers", close to Erdogan, i.e. Turkey", that MEP too Warned.


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>>> Thus, "those currently in Power in Tunisia, should Not be Afraid to have Other, Democratic Interlocutors", and, instead of "Muzzling" several parts of the Country's "Civil Society", they'd Better enter in Dialogue with them, (f.ex., "Trade Unions", "NGOs", etc).

 

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- In this regard, the Head of EU Parliament's Election Observation Delegation for Tunisia, Experienced Spanish ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Santiago Fisas Ayxela, observed, However, that "about 1.000 Electoral Lists" were made by "Small Parties", and "the Biggest Group (of Candidates) were Independents". (Even if several were "Not Really Independents", but, in Fact, linked to "Big Political Parties", which attempted to "get around" the Law about ..."Women's Participation", as also Castaldo had observed, who had called them "Fake Civil Society Lists").


+ But it's also "Women (who) are an Important factor", he noted, Pointing at the potential "Role of Women" also "as a Guarantee of Democracy" : Particularly "Tunisian Women will Not let be Abused" by anyone !


 -  As for "the Army, it's pro-Democracy, and at the orders of the Government", Fisas Ayxela added.


- However, "the Problem is that Secular politicians are still Divided", while "some Personalities of the Ancient Regime re-surfaced' at the latest Vote, EU Parliament's Election Observation team's Head regretted.

 

- Meanwhile,  "the Situation is Not Easy at (Neighbouring) Libya", with more than "1 Million of Refugees", and "a List of Moderates, but also with Radicalized" politicians, in Addition to "Difficulties at the Borders of (the other Neighbouring Country) Algeria", including even Terrorism, he Warned.


=> Thus, we'd better see, in Tunisia, several "Real Independents", possibly, enter in some kind of "Coalitions", the Mainstream MEP concluded in substance.


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 - The President of EU Parliament's Delegation to Maghreb Countries, MEP Inés Ayala Sender, from the Governing Socialist Party in Portugal, observed, in fine, that "a Handicap" for the Latest, 2018 Local Elections was the Fact that too "Many People were Selected for numerous (Electoral) Lists", while, on the Contrary, they had "a Low Turnout".


>>> Moreover, "If Both the 2 Major Parties refer to a Religious Manifestos", then, in real practice, "there is No Alternative" for the People of Tunisia !", she Denounced.


=> Therefore, someone needs "to Give to the People a Real Choice" on 2019, ("if not, they would disengage" from mainstream Politics), President Ayala Sender urged.


- In this regard, she observed that, even if it had been proven in 2018 to be "Difficult for Young People to Mobilize" (Comp. Supra), Nevertheless, there was also an "Encouraging" Development, in the Fact that there were "Many Independent Lists" (Comp. Supra), and, therefore, "New Candidates may come in" on 2019, including "Many (former) Independents".


- Thus, in substance, "the Challenge is How We (i.e. the EU) can Support those People", she resumed.


>>> And, "Now, that we (EU) are currently Opening the Fight over the Multi-Annual Financial Perspectives", including with "New Aides extended during many Years", etc.,

 

=> in order to "Prepare for the (Tunisian, Presidential and Parliamentary) Elections of Next Year (2019), "it's Important for the EU to Give some Clear and Robust Signals to Tunisia !", the President of EU Parliament's competent Committee concluded.

 

 

(../..)



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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap)

 

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 slovenian__croatian_presidents_at_coe_400

    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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