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Nidaa Tunis, Ennahda agree on economic policy

Nidaa Tunis and Ennahda share a similar economic vision for stabilizing the Tunisian economy, raising the question of whether there will be a true political opposition to challenge government policies.
Tunisia's Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi adjusts his glasses during a news conference at the G8 summit in Deauville May 27, 2011.  REUTERS/Andrew Winning (FRANCE  - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)   - RTR2MYO6

TUNIS, Tunisia — Nearly four years before his name appeared on the ballot in Tunisia’s run-off presidential elections Dec. 21, Beji Caid Essebsi had represented the country as interim prime minister at the 2011 gathering of the G-8 in Deauville, France. At the meeting, Essebsi signed on to the Deauville Partnership, a multibillion dollar initiative by Western powers and international financial institutions to support countries in transition following the Arab Spring.

The partnership aimed to help stabilize regional economies, better integrate them into the global market, create jobs and promote transparent governance by making financing available and pushing for reforms. The principles established by the partnership have guided Tunisian economic policy since 2011 and are largely supported by the country's two main political parties — the secular, modernist Nidaa Tunis, headed by Essebsi, and the moderate Islamist Ennahda.

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