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Ghannouchi has confidence in Tunisian factions

The leader of Tunisia's Al-Nahda Party has said that he and his colleagues have full confidence in the country's political factions. Shaikh Rashid Ghannouchi said on Sunday that all parties are serious about forming a "reconciliation government" and proper supervision of the elections.


"Such a government means that no one will be able to doubt the results of the upcoming elections," he said in an interview with the government's Al-Wataniyah television. Ghannouchi's remarks came after all Tunisian political factions accepted a roadmap and agreed to start a national dialogue on Friday.

The dialogue started after Prime Minister Ali Laarayed signed a written pledge to step down three weeks after the national talks began, although he did impose some conditions on leaving office in that all of the terms of the roadmap have to be moving forward before he will leave government. These include the formation of an independent elections committee, the setting of dates for parliamentary elections, choosing an acceptable head of the government and finalising work on the Constitution.

According to Ghannouchi, "It is possible for the Constitutional Assembly to finish the Constitution at the same time that the government steps down." The general rapporteur of the Constitutional Committee, Lahbib Khader, concurred.

Meanwhile, Shaikh Ghannouchi renewed his pledge not to run for president. "Even if Al-Nahda nominates someone, it will not be me." He said that Tunisia, despite all the difficulties of the democratic transition, would be the first Arab country to be crowned with modern democracy, taking the same path as Switzerland and Malaysia.

The head of the largest and most organised Tunisian party said that external groups were behind the terrorist incidents which have taken place in Tunisia recently. "Terrorism is not a Tunisian thing," he pointed out. "This has outside backing in the framework of what is known as globalisation." He denied accusations that Al-Nahda Party is behind the terrorism as a means to impose its will on the people.

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