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Tunisia’s Ghannouchi: Road to Elections Full of Landmines

Tunisia’s Ghannouchi: Road to Elections Full of Landmines

Monday, 18 March, 2019 - 08:15
Head Tunisia’s Ennahda party Rashid al-Ghannouchi. (Reuters)
Tunis - Asharq Al-Awsat

The road leading to elections in October is full of “landmines,” said head Tunisia’s Ennahda party Rashid al-Ghannouchi.

“Desperate” individuals, who have no chance of winning in the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, want to return Tunisia to the pre-revolution phase in 2011, he told a meeting with movement cadres in the southeastern city of Tataouine.

They are banking on crises in order to shake the people’s trust in Ennahda, he claimed.

Ennahda secured a victory in Tataouine during the 2011 and 2014 elections and has hopes of repeating this win in the coming polls.

Ghannouchi underpinned freedom that he considered a pillar to democracy. He called for patience until the next elections that will announce Tunisia as the “first country of freedom and democracy in the Arab world.”

On whether Ennahda will name a candidate for the November 10 presidential elections, he said that the movement’s central order does not require its head to run for president, while denying that he is seeking to run for office.

The final decision on this issue will be determined by the movement’s shura council,

Ennahda will continue to fulfill its pledges to eradicate corruption and terrorism and will remain committed to the people’s freedom of choice, he continued.

Separately, Hamed Karoui, who served as prime minister under the regime of former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, called for supporters of Habib Bourguiba, Tunisia’s independence leader, to come together and take part in the upcoming elections under uniform “Bourguiba lists”.

In an address to Ben Ali and Bourguiba supporters, he criticized the current state of affairs in Tunisia, noting the rise in the public debt and shortcomings by the security agencies.

Karoui established and chaired the Destourian Movement (Constitutional Movement) after the 2011 revolution. He was succeeded by Abir Moussi, a prominent member of Ben Ali’s regime.

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