World Bulletin/News Desk
Tunisia's Free Patriotic Union party – which has the third largest bloc in parliament – has said it would throw its weight behind presidential candidate Beji Caid Essebsi of the centrist Nidaa Tounes party in a runoff vote slated for late December.
"We call on supporters to vote for Beji Caid Essebsi in the second round of the presidential elections," party chairman Slim Riahi said at a Friday press conference.
"After meeting with presidential candidate Moncef Marzouki, we realized that his foreign relations program was not in line with our positions," said Riahi.
"We also met with Beji Caid Essebsi, who expressed a clear willingness to offer a new vision for the next phase in terms of foreign relations, which is in line with our program," he added.
In October 26 parliamentary polls, Nidaa Tounes won 85 seats in the 217-seat assembly; the Ennahda party won 69 seats; the Free Patriotic Union won 16 seats; and the Popular Front party won 15 seats.
A runoff presidential vote will be held on either December 21 or 28, depending on a court decision, according to Supreme Presidential Election Commission member Nabil Bafoon.
The runoff will see two candidates vie for highest office: Nidaa Tounes' Essebsi, who clinched some 1.9 million votes (39.4 percent) in the first round; and interim president Marzouki, who won about 1.1 million votes (33.4 percent).Last Mod: 05 Aralık 2014, 17:32