Tunisia's newly elected assembly held on Tuesday its inaugural session with the aim of shaping the constitution and the democratic future of the country that sparked the Arab Spring revolts. The ceremony was attended by Interim Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi, the members of the transitional government and delegates of political parties, national authorities and organizations as well as national and international media.
An Islamist party, Ennahda (Renaissance), won the most seats in the Constituent Assembly, and it has announced a coalition with a liberal and left-of-center party to make up the interim government. According to the AP, the coalition holds a majority of 139 seats in the 217-member body.
"We will seek to ensure that the national constituent assembly complete its tasks, write a new constitution for the country and call for new elections within a period that should not exceed one year," said the statement signed late Monday by the new coalition.
The coalition will present the assembly its candidate for interim president, veteran rights activist Moncef Marzouki who heads the liberal Congress for the Republic Party. He will then name a prime minister, Ennahda's number 2, Hammadi Jebali, and Mustapha Ben Jaafar of the Ettakatol Party as the leader of assembly.
On Tuesday, Caretaker President Mebazaa took the floor for an address in which he paid tribute to the martyrs of the Revolution and stressed that the elections had been successful and provided a ''popular legitimacy'' to the Constituent Assembly that entrusts it with the "responsibility of achieving the expectations of Tunisians ".
"We are forging ahead toward a new stage '', he declared , affirming that Tunisia had managed to preserve itself "by means of a neutral and patriotic administration " and the devotion of government members, the army and security forces as well as the different authorities and committees set up since the revolution.