New 'Long Live Tunisia' party born, to be led by PM
By Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters) - Secular government leaders announced a new party called Long Live Tunisia on Sunday which is to be led by the prime minister and will compete with moderate Islamists in upcoming elections.
By Tarek Amara
TUNIS (Reuters) - Secular government leaders announced a new party called Long Live Tunisia on Sunday which is to be led by the prime minister and will compete with moderate Islamists in upcoming elections.
Though the premier, Youssef Chahed, was not there, thousands of supporters gathered in the coastal city of Monastir to celebrate the birth of Tahya Tounes, the party's Arabic name.
The new movement was formed after months of wrangling within ruling coalition party Nidaa Tounes (Tunisia's Call), resulting in the resignation of dozens of leaders.
The fragile coalition, which also includes the moderate Islamist party Ennahda (Renaissance), is struggling to pass economic reforms demanded by foreign lenders.
"Our goal will be to have a strong party that will lead economic reforms and return hope for frustrated Tunisians," Zohra Idriss, a lawmaker and member of the new party, told Reuters by telephone from Monastir.
"We seek to lead the nation and compete with the Islamists ... Chahed will be the leader."
Elections are due by the end of this year, with Renaissance, Tunisia's largest party, favourite to win, according to polls.
The opposition said the prime minister, a 43-year-old technocrat in office since 2016, had neglected Tunisia's problems to concentrate on his political future.
"For months, Chahed has focused on establishing this party and not saving the national country economy," said Zouhair Magzaoui, head of Harakat Achaab (People's Party).
The North African country has been hailed as the Arab Spring's only democratic success because protests toppled autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 without triggering the kind of violent upheavals seen in Syria and Libya.
But nine cabinets since then have failed to resolve Tunisia's economic problems, including high inflation and unemployment. Impatience is rising among lenders such as the International Monetary Fund, who have kept the country afloat.
(Reporting By Tarek Amara; Editing by Andrew Cawthorne)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.