Wafa Movement

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Wafa Movement
حركة وفاء
French name Mouvement Wafa
Secretary-General Abderraouf Ayadi[1]
Founded 2012 (2012)[2]
Split from Congress for the Republic (CPR)
Ideology Secularism[1]
Leftism[1]
Assembly of the
Representatives
of the People
0 / 217
Website
facebook.com/mvt.wafa

The Wafa Movement (Arabic: حركة وفاء‎‎), sometimes referred to as the Independent Democratic Congress, is a political party in Tunisia.

The party was founded in 2012 by a number of constituents who broke away from the Congress for the Republic (CPR). Led by the short-time CPR secretary-general Abderraouf Ayadi, the party however remained loosely allied with the governing Troika coalition of Ennahda, CPR and Ettakatol.

Generally seen as a secular, left-leaning party,[1] the Wafa Movement reached out to Islamists on the grounds of seeking unity among revolutionary forces. In the 2014 elections, the party lost its parliamentary representation.

History[edit]

Formation[edit]

On 19 April 2012, CPR secretary-general Abderraouf Ayadi had been dismissed from his official functions following controversies over Ayadis approval of Samir Geageas right-wing Lebanese Forces, a Christian militia responsible for the Sabra and Shatila massacre of hundreds of Palestinian refugees in 1982.[3]

A few days later, on 9 May 2012, Ayadi and a group of fellow constituents announced that they would leave the CPR to form a new party under the name of "Wafa",[4] meaning "faithful", used here in the sense of "faithful to the revolution". On July 25, the party was officially founded, "with the sole objective of realizing the revolution’s objectives: work, liberty and national dignity."[5]

Constituent Assembly[edit]

In November 2012, the party announced it would sue Israel for the 1988 assassination of Fatah-official Abu Jihad by Sayeret Matkal Colonel Nahum Lev in Tunis. Wafa attorney Fadira Najjar considered the assassination a war crime under international law and claimed that deposed Tunisian president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali as well as security officials colluded with Israel.[6]

In January 2013, secretary-general Ayadi supported the inscription of legal jihad into the Constitution of Tunisia. Allegedly he also advocated the integration of jihadist fighters into the Tunisian Army,[7] which however was immediately demented by Wafa party officials.[8] On 20 November 2013, Wafa president Abderraouf Ayadi proposed that a dialogue be started with militant Islamist group Ansar al-Sharia.[9]

2014 elections[edit]

Having started with 12 parliamentarians in 2012, the Wafa Movement went into the 2014 parliamentary election with 10 seats,[10] all of which it lost receiving a mere 0.70% of the electoral vote. For the following presidential election, Wafa had already nominated its secretary-general Ayadi[10] who however withdrew his candidacy after the electoral results were published calling the election a "soft coup" with the comeback of old regime figures.[11] Wafa harshly criticized the candidacy of Beji Caid Essebsi, stating that he would have no place in a revolution of the youth against the former regime.[12] The party later supported the electoral campaign of interim president Moncef Marzouki.[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Wafa Movement / Independent Democratic Congress, Observatory on Politics and Elections in the Arab and Muslim World, retrieved 21 November 2013 
  2. ^ Tunisia’s Second Largest Democratic Party Divides, The Maghreb Daily, 18 May 2013 
  3. ^ "Tunisie/CPR: Le bureau politique limoge Abderraouf Ayadi". GlobalNet (in French). 2012-04-19. Retrieved 2014-11-24. 
  4. ^ Hajbi, Nizar (2012-05-10). "Fatale scission!". La Presse de Tunisie (in French). Archived from the original on 2012-05-17. 
  5. ^ Ben Cheikh, Lotfi (2012-06-08). "El Wafa: "Fidèles à la Révolution"". MAG14 (in French). Retrieved 2014-12-29. 
  6. ^ Miller, Elhanan (2012-11-05). "Tunisian party sues Israel over Abu Jihad assassination". Times of Israel. Retrieved 2014-12-29. 
  7. ^ "Abderraouf Ayadi pour l'intégration des jihadistes au sein du ministère de la Défense!". Shems FM. 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2014-12-29. 
  8. ^ "Tunisie – Wafa dément que Abderraouf Ayadi ait proposé d'intégrer les jihadistes dans l'armée nationale". Business News (in French). 2013-01-28. Retrieved 2014-12-29. 
  9. ^ Smadhi, Asma (2013-11-21). "Assembly Member Suggests Dialogue with Ansar al-Sharia". Tunisia Live. Retrieved 2013-11-21. 
  10. ^ a b Saidani, Monji (2014-06-30). "Tunisian presidential candidates begin seeking endorsement". Asharq Al-Awsat. Retrieved 2014-12-29. 
  11. ^ Blioua, Imen (2014-11-19). "Fifth Candidate Announces Withdrawal from Presidential Race". Tunisia Live. Retrieved 2014-12-29. 
  12. ^ "El-Sebsi's candidacy causes controversy in Tunisia". Middle East Monitor. 2014-09-10. Retrieved 2014-12-29. 
  13. ^ "Wafa Movement backs Marzouki in presidential run-off". Tunis Afrique Presse. 2014-11-26. Retrieved 2014-12-29.