Nidaa Tounes

Nidaa Tounes (Arabic: حركة نداء تونس‎‎ Nidā’ Tūnis, French: Appel de la Tunisie; usually translated as „Call of Tunisia“, „Call for Tunisia“, or „Tunisia’s Call“) is a big tent secularist political party in Tunisia. After being founded in 2012, the party won a plurality of seats in the October 2014 parliamentary election. The party’s founding leader Beji Caid Essebsi was elected President of Tunisia in the 2014 presidential election.

The party’s foundation was announced when former prime minister Beji Caid Essebsi on April 20, 2012 launched his Call for Tunisia as a response to post-revolutionary „instances of disturbing extremism and violence that threaten public and individual liberties, as well as the security of the citizens“. It was officially founded on 16 June 2012 and describes itself as a „modernist“ and „social-democratic“ party of the moderate left. However, it also includes notable economically liberal currents.

The party has patched together former members of ousted president Ben Ali’s Constitutional Democratic Rally, secular leftists, progressive liberals and Destourians (followers of Tunisia’s „founder“ Habib Bourguiba). In addition, the party has the support of many members of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) and the national employers‘ union, UTICA. They believe that Tunisia’s secular forces have to unite to counter the dominance of the Islamist Ennahda Movement.

From its foundation until July 2013, 11 members of the Constituent Assembly joined the party by defecting from various other parties.

On 11 February 2013, the Republican Party joined Nidaa Tounes and four other parties in a political alliance called Union for Tunisia (UPT). Moreover, it participated in the formation of the broad oppositional National Salvation Front in July 2013. However, ahead of the October 2014 legislative election, Nidaa Tounes decided to run its own lists and not to contest the election as part of the UPT.