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Ghannouchi: Demonstrations to overturn ballot box results are unacceptable

February 8, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Shaikh Rashid Ghannouchi, the head of Tunisia’s ruling Islamic Renaissance Movement, Al-Nahda, has said that trying to overthrow the elected government through violent means is unacceptable. The people, he insisted, have to respect the results of democratic ballots.

Speaking to Cairo-based Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, Shaikh Ghannouchi confirmed that he has met with Egyptian opposition leader Hamdeen Sabahi and talked to him about “a vision for beginning a dialogue”. He noted that the Muslim Brotherhood welcomed the idea of engaging in serious and fruitful dialogue with the National Salvation Front for the benefit of the country. The head of Al-Nahda Party clarified that all sides in the political conflict in Egypt will maintain contact with each other in order to put an end to the current unsettled situation.

“Overthrowing democratically-elected governments through street demonstrations is unacceptable, and against the very concept and meaning of democracy,” said Ghannouchi. “Egypt impressed the world with its revolution against dictatorship and everyone agreed to abide by the ballot results, so it is unacceptable to try to overthrow the president by violence.” Just because some people do not like the head of state or the government should not be an excuse for their violent overthrow, he added.

Pointing out that calling for a second revolution actually means calling for a revolution against the people who chose the president, the veteran Tunisian leader said that this is a “grave mistake”. The people themselves, he concluded, own the legitimacy of the elections.