Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties

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Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties
التكتل الديمقراطي من أجل العمل والحريات
French name Forum démocratique pour le travail et les libertés
Abbreviation Ettakatol
Secretary-General Mustapha Ben Jafar
Founded 9 April 1994 (1994-04-09)
Legalized 25 October 2002
Newspaper Mouatinoun
Ideology Social democracy[1]
International affiliation Socialist International,
Progressive Alliance
European affiliation Party of European Socialists (observer)
Colors Red and green
Constituent Assembly
12 / 217
Politics of Tunisia
Political parties

The Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties (Arabic: التكتل الديمقراطي من أجل العمل والحريات‎, at-Takattul ad-Dīmuqrāṭī min ajl il-‘Amal wal-Ḥurriyyāt ; French: Forum démocratique pour le travail et les libertés), also referred to as Ettakatol or by its French acronym FDTL, is a social democratic political party in Tunisia. It was founded on 9 April 1994 and officially recognized on 25 October 2002.[3] Its founder and Secretary-General is the radiologist Mustapha Ben Jafar.[4]


During the rule of Ben Ali, the FDTL played only a secondary role. It was a member of the oppositional 18 October Coalition for Rights and Freedoms alongside the Progressive Democratic Party, the Communist Party of Tunisian Workers and some Islamists. Although participating in legislative elections, it could not win any seats in the Tunisian parliament. Ettakatol's secretary-general Ben Jafar attempted to run for the 2009 presidential election, but was barred from the race.[5]

Elections of 2009[edit]

In 2009, Ettakatol ran for the first time in the parliamentary elections, winning only 0.12% of the vote and no seats in the Chamber of Deputies.

For the presidential election held on the same day, the Mustapha Ben Jaafar announced his candidacy for the election. Indeed, although a recent party leader who has not held elective congress at that time Ben Jaafar defends his candidacy in an interview with Jeune Afrique.

He supported his candidacy on an analysis of lawyers on the constitutional amendment in July 2008. But Zuhair M'dhaffer, Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister for the Public Service and Administrative Development and former President of the Constitutional Council, insists that "the leader of a party has to be elected president by Congress, not by the founding body of the movement". However, Ben Jaafar said that "neither the constitution nor the electoral code, nor the law on political parties do not mention such a requirement" and that it depends on the rules of procedure of the parties.

On the occasion of its Ettakatol's first congress held on 29 and 30 May 2009, Mustapha Ben Jaafar was reconfirmed as Secretary-General.

Ben Jaafar said his nomination confirmed by the Congress of the FDTL, especially for a "challenge to change the rules of the political game and break with the practices of another planet" while remaining open to dialogue, including with the party in power. He thinks that "failing to have equal means, [the candidates] should have the same chance to start" .

On 24 September, he was the last nominee to present his candidacy, saying that "there are people capable of assuming the highest political responsibilities [...] and the alternation of power is possible," his approach trying to "get Tunisians lethargy and resignation of the state in which they are".

His supporters gathered inside the Constitutional Council, it calls for the release of trade unionists convicted in the wake of the social movement of 2008 in the mining region of Redeyef. The Constitutional Council, however, invalidate the bid on the grounds that it does not meet the requirement that a candidate must be elected leader of his training for at least two years. Therefore, Ben Jaafar called 5 Oct to vote for Brahim who is the "only serious candidate," he said.

After the revolution[edit]

On 17 January 2011, Ben Jaafar was appointed minister of public health in the interim government but resigned a few days later to protest against the presence of ministers from Ben Ali's party.

After the Tunisian revolution of 2011 and ahead of the Constituent Assembly election, Ettakatol developed into a main representative of the centre-left secular camp.[6] On 17 January 2011, party leader Ben Jafar was named Health Minister in the interim government,[7] but stepped back only days later in protest against the unchanged prevalence of the old dominant RCD party.[5] The Forum relies mainly on the voluntary commitment of its grassroot members and its activities in social media.[8]

In the election of the Constituent Assembly of Tunisia on 23 October 2011, Ettakatol won 20 of the 217 seats making it the fourth force in the convention. Subsequently, the FDTL came to an agreement with the two major parties, the Islamist Ennahda Movement and the secular Congress for the Republic (CPR), to share the three highest positions in state.[9] Accordingly, FDTL-leader Ben Jafar was voted Speaker of the Assembly on 22 November.[10] In exchange, the Forum supported the election of CPR-leader Moncef Marzouki as interim President of the Republic, and the appointment of Ennahda's secretary-general Hamadi Jebali as Prime Minister.

Ettakatol was unanimously elected as full member of the Socialist International on 30 August 2012 Congress.[11] The party held its second Congress on 7 July 2013; Ben Jafar was reconfirmed as Secretary-General.[12]


The FDTL is an member of the Socialist International[13] and observer of the Party of European Socialists.[14] Since 2007 the party has published an Arabic weekly newspaper entitled Mouatinoun (Citizens).


  1. ^ Medien, Ahmed (10 October 2011), Ettakatol – Forum Démocratique pour le Travail et les Libertés,, retrieved 21 October 2011 
  2. ^ Factbox – How Tunisia's election will work, Reuters, 22 October 2011, retrieved 22 October 2011 
  3. ^ "Tunisia - Opposition Parties". Global Security. Retrieved 11 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "Photo of Mustapha Ben Jaafar, 22 Jan 2011". Getty Images. Retrieved 28 January 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Angelique Chrisafis (19 October 2011), Tunisian elections: the key parties, The Guardian, retrieved 22 October 2011 
  6. ^ Celeste Hicks (21 October 2011), Tunisia election: Loving and loathing Islamists, BBC News, retrieved 22 October 2011 
  7. ^ Who are Tunisia's main oppposition figures?, Reuters, 17 January 2011, retrieved 22 October 2011 
  8. ^ Sam Bollier (9 October 2011), Who are Tunisia's political parties?, Al Jazeera, retrieved 21 October 2011 
  9. ^ Tunisia coalition agrees top government posts, BBC News, 21 November 2011, retrieved 23 November 2011 
  10. ^ Sadok Ayari (22 November 2011), Mustapha Ben Jaafar Elected President of the Constituent Assembly, Tunisia Live, retrieved 23 November 2011 
  11. ^ Ettakatol elected permanent member of Socialist International, TAP, 30 August 2012 
  12. ^ Ben Jaafar: Ettakatol Party's national congress achieved its main objectives, TAP, 9 July 2013 
  13. ^ "Progressive Politics For A Fairer World". Socialist International. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  14. ^ "PES member parties". PES. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 

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