Early presidential polls – MPs sponsorship list: Ennahdha endorsed more than one candidate
17/08/2019 20:13, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - The Independent High Authority for the Elections (ISIE), on Saturday, published the list of 152 MPs who sponsored 11 candidates among the 26 approved for the early presidential elections.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed had the highest number of parliamentary sponsorships with 30 endorsements, followed by Abdelfattah Mourou and Abdelkrim Zidi with 17 each.

Candidates Slim Riahi and Nabil Karoui were sponsored by 12 MPs each, while Salma Elloumi, Hamadi Jebali, Moncef Marzouki and Hatem Boulabiar were sponsored by 11 MPs each.

Second Deputy Speaker of the Parliament Faouzia Ben Foddha, who ran in the legislative elections as top of the list of Al Badil Ettounsi (Manouba constituency), is among the 12 MPs who endorsed Slim Riahi’s candidacy for president.

Mongi Rahoui and Elyes Fakhfekh had the minimum number of sponsorships required under the electoral law, namely 10.

The number of sponsorships proved logical and consistent given the candidate's membership in a party or parliamentary bloc, especially for the candidate of Ennahdha Movement, Mourou sponsored by 17 MPs from the movement’s bloc, for that of Tahya Tounes, Youssef Chahed endorsed by 30 MPs of the National Coalition bloc and also for candidate Mongi Rahoui whose majority of the sponsorships comes from the members of the Popular Front group.

However, some endorsements raise questions as candidates who have benefited from such sponsorships have either moved away from the political landscape for some time, or have recently repositioned themselves on the political scene.

This is the case of president of the party "Heart of Tunisia” Nabil Karoui.

The list published by the ISIE shows that Ennahdha’s MPs were among those who sponsored more than one presidential candidate.

The endorsed 5 candidates, namely Abdelfattah Mourou, Hamadi Jebali, Hatem Boulabiar, Ilyes Fakhfekh and Moncef Marzouki.

Salma Elloumi benefited from the sponsorship of MPs from the dissolved UPL bloc, while candidate Nabil Karoui was endorsed by members of the Nidaa Tounes group (9 Nidaa members out of 12).

Slim Riahi was sponsored by a majority of MPs belonging to the dissolved UPL bloc.

Regarding Minister of Defence Abdelkrim Zidi, his sponsors come from the Nidaa Tounes bloc and unaffiliated MPs.

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