Tunisian Communist Party


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Tunisian Communist Party

 

(TCP; Hizb al-Shuyui al-Tunisii), a party founded in 1939 from the Communist Federation of Tunisia, which had been founded in 1920 and was part of the French Communist Party.

The Tunisian Communists devoted considerable efforts to rousing the working people to oppose the French protectorate and fight for Tunisian independence. The Communists also propagated Marxist socialist ideas in Tunisia. The First Congress of the TCP (May 20–21, 1939) called upon the Tunisian people to unite in the struggle for national independence. The congress stated that the advance of fascism constituted the chief obstacle to the independent development of oppressed peoples. During World War II the TCP consistently opposed fascism and the Vichy government. During the occupation of Tunisia by fascist Italo-German troops from November 1942 to May 1943, the TCP directed the armed struggle of the Tunisian resistance movement.

After the war the TCP sought to unite all the progressive and revolutionary forces of Tunisia in an anti-imperialist front with the Neo-Destour Party (later known as the Destour Socialist Party). The TCP was weakened, however, by repressive measures on the part of the colonial authorities. In addition, it misjudged the nature of the popular liberation struggle during the period from 1952 to 1954. In 1954, the TCP, now legal, began to play a significant role in the mass demonstrations calling for an end to the protectorate regime.

The Sixth Congress of the TCP (Dec. 29–31, 1957), convened after Tunisia had won independence on Mar. 20,1956. The congress adopted a new party program, For a Tunisian Road to Socialism, which replaced the program adopted in 1939. The decisions of the Seventh Congress (Mar. 25–27,1962) supported the progressive measures then being carried out by the Tunisian government to strengthen Tunisian sovereignty and independence. In January 1963 the TCP and its newspaper, al-Taliya (The Avant-garde), were declared illegal, and party leaders were subjected to repressive measures. A group of Tunisian Communists were put on trial in 1968.

Under difficult circumstances, the TCP continues to struggle for unity among the revolutionary anti-imperialist forces of Tunisia. In 1974 the TCP published its programmatic declaration, For a New Progressive and Democratic Choice, which analyzes the situation in Tunisia and sets the task of uniting the patriotic forces of the people in the struggle for a democratic society and social progress. The declaration of the TCP issued in October 1978 calls for the combined efforts of all political forces to achieve positive changes in the country. This joint struggle is to be based on a single political platform which demands the end of the repression and persecution of trade unionists, the freeing of political prisoners, and the establishment of democratic liberties, one of which is the legalization of democratic parties and organizations, including the TCP.

Delegations from the TCP took part in the International Conferences of the Representatives of the Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Moscow in 1957,1960, and 1969. The TCP ratified the documents adopted by these conferences. Secretaries of the Central Committee of the TCP are M. Nafaa and M. Harmel.

REFERENCES

Ivanov, N. A. Krizis franlsuzskogo protektorata v Tunise. Moscow, 1971. Chapter 9.
Tunis (handbook). Moscow, 1978.
La Lutte clandestine du Parti communiste de Tunisie centre les Hitlériens et les valets à leur service: Documents. Tunis, 1951.
Nafaa, M. Où va iapolitique tunisienne de développement? [1967].
Pour une nouvelle alternative progressiste et démocratique. [Tunis, 1974.]

O. V. BOGUSHEVICH

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