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Ben Ali's Letter Sparks Mixed Reactions Among Tunisians

Ben Ali's Letter Sparks Mixed Reactions Among Tunisians

Thursday, 16 May, 2019 - 08:00
Ousted Tunisian president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. Reuters

Mounir Ben Salha, the lawyer of ousted Tunisian president Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, released a letter from Ben Ali vowing to return to Tunisia. This is the first direct written letter from him to the Tunisians since departing the country.

In his letter, he said that he is following up with the situation in the country like any other Tunisian, affirming that it is not the right time for Tunisians to outbid each other, saying they should protect the country instead and save it from the current economic situation.

The ousted president stressed his rejection to exploiting his figure in political investment.

Several parties wondered whether Ben Ali is returning due to health issues or for political motives. Some Tunisians rose doubts over the letter and affirmed that he didn’t write the letter and doesn’t even know its content.

Meanwhile, others said politicians’ statements on the possibility of Ben Ali’s return gave credibility to the news and made some Tunisians eager to the phase before 2011, especially amid the current social and economic crisis, the drop in purchasing power and the rise of prices.

Abdellatif Mekki, an official of Ennahda movement, said that Ben Ali is a fugitive from justice and must to surrender himself. He added that he can return once he gives back the looted funds from the foreign banks.

Burhan Besis, a politician known for defending the former regime, criticized Mekki’s statements saying that Ben Ali left a fund for the generations worth TND3,000 million that was dispersed by the ‘rational rule’ after the rebels took control.

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