Neo Destour

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New Constitutional Liberal Party
الحزب الحر الدستوري الجديد
Nouveau Parti libéral constitutionnel
President Mahmud Materi (1934–1938)
Habib Bourguiba (1938–1964)
Founded March 2, 1934 (1934-03-02)
Dissolved October 22, 1964 (1964-10-22)
Split from Destour
Succeeded by Socialist Destourian Party
Ideology Tunisian nationalism
Politics of Tunisia
Political parties
Elections

The New Constitutional Liberal Party (Arabic: الحزب الحر الدستوري الجديد‎, Al-Ḥizb Al-Ḥurr Ad-Dustūrī Al-Jadīd; French: Nouveau Parti libéral constitutionnel), most commonly known as Neo Destour, was a Tunisian political party that was founded by a group of Tunisian nationalist politicians during the French protectorate.

History[edit]

The party was formed as a result of a split from the pre-existing Destour party in 1934.[1][2] Several leaders were particularly prominent during the party's early years before World War II: Habib Bourguiba, Mahmud Materi, Tahar Sfar, Bahri Guiga, and Salah ben Youssef.[3][4]

Prior to the split, a younger group of Destour members had alarmed the party elders by appealing directly to the populace through their more radical newspaper L'Action Tunisienne. The younger group, many from the provinces, seemed more in tune with a wider spectrum of the Tunisian people, while the elders represented a more established constituency in the capital city of Tunis; yet both groups were proponents of change, either autonomy or independence. The rupture came at the Destour party congress of 1934.[5][6]

Eventually the Neo Destour led the Tunisian independence struggle after the tumultuous period during World War II. A significant split occurred in the struggle's final year. Salah ben Yusuf challenged Habib Bourguiba over his gradualist tactics during autonomy talks in April, 1955. Ben Yusuf was expelled from the party that October; in November he mounted a large street demonstration to no avail. Ben Yusuf then left for Egypt.[7] Independence from France was negotiated largely by the Neo Destour, effective March, 1956. The next year the Republic replaced the Beylical form of government. Tunisia became a one party state, with Neo Destour as the ruling party under Prime Minister and then President Habib Bourguiba.[8]

Later the Neo Destour party was renamed the Socialist Destourian Party (PSD in its French acronym), during the socialist phase of political-economic development which commenced in 1964 under President Bourguiba.[9][10]

In 1988, under President Ben Ali, the party was again renamed, to become the Rassemblement Constitutionel Démocratique (RCD).[11] The RCD continued as the Tunisian ruling party until 2011 under President Ben Ali and became increasing dictatorial, before being abolished as part of the Arab Spring.

Election results[edit]

Presidential Elections[edit]

Election date Party candidate Number of votes received Percentage of votes
1959 Habib Bourguiba Unknown 100%

Parliamentary Elections[edit]

Election date Party leader Number of votes received Percentage of votes Number of deputies
1956 Habib Bourguiba 597,763 98.7% 98
1959 Habib Bourguiba 1,002,298 99.7% 90

Reference notes[edit]

  1. ^ The Destour Party had been founded in 1920. Kenneth J. Perkins, A History of Modern Tunisia (Cambridge Univ. 2004) at 79.
  2. ^ Lisa Anderson, The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980 (Princeton Univ. 1986) at 162-167, 171.
  3. ^ Perkins, A History of Modern Tunisia (Cambridge Univ. 2004) at 95-96, 98.
  4. ^ Robert Rinehart, "Historical Setting" at 42, in Tunisia. A Country Study edited by Harold D. Nelson (Washington, D.C. 1987).
  5. ^ Richard M. Brace, Morocco Algeria Tunisia (Prentice Hall 1964) at 62-63.
  6. ^ Lisa Anderson, The State and Social Transformation in Tunisia and Libya, 1830-1980 (Princeton Univ. 1986) at 163, 167.
  7. ^ Perkins, A History of Modern Tunisia (Cambridge University 2004) at 126-129.
  8. ^ Brace, Morocco Algeria Tunisia (Prentice Hall 1964) at 114-116, 121-123, 140-143.
  9. ^ Perkins, A History of Modern Tunisia (Cambridge Univ. 2004) at 146-147.
  10. ^ Jean R. Tartter, "Government and Politics" at 234-238, in Tunisia. A Country Study (Washington, D. C. 1987).
  11. ^ Perkins, A History of Modern Tunisia (Cambridge Univ. 2004) at 185.

See also[edit]