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Three Tunisian opposition parties announce merger

(Xinhua)

10:59, January 12, 2012

TUNIS, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Three Tunisian opposition parties announced their merger on Wednesday, the official press agency TAP reported.

The news was announced by Maya Jeribi, the head of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP), during a meeting held in Tunis.

The merger which will gather together the PDP, Afek Tounes ( Tunisian perspectives Party) and the Tunisian Republican Party, will be officialized during the next PDP congress on March 17-19, Jeribi said.

She added that talks are underway to include Ettajdid, the former communist party, in the coalition. She also invited all democratic-centrist forces to join the coalition.

The name of the coalition will be announced later, she said.

On his part, the head of Afek Tounes, Yassine Brahim, stressed that the Constituent Assembly's current political landscape encouraged the three parties to merge, with the aim of setting up a coalition front against the country's leading Islamist party Ennahdha.

The move comes as the country's new Ennahdha-led government is faced with increasing criticism for not reacting swiftly enough to stimulate the economy and addressing unemployment.

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