Today sees the opening of the Constituent Assembly, Tunisia's first democratically elected representative body. On this historic day, Ennahda Movement congratulates the Tunisian people on the start of a new era in our country's history.
On this day, we pay tribute to the generations of martyrs and victims of this blessed revolution, to all the families who lost loved ones to the struggle against dictatorship and tyranny and in pursuit of freedom. It is fitting that these sacrifices are personified in the Constituent Assembly itself, many of whose members are veterans of the long struggle for democracy. Hammadi Jebali, the proposed new Prime Minister and Ennahda Secretary General, spent 16 years in prison, Sadok Chourou, representative for Ben Arous, was Tunisia's longest-serving political prisoner, spending 18 years in prison, Habib Ellouze, representative for Sfax, 16 years, Samir Dilou, representative for Binzerte, 10 years, among many others. The journey that these individuals have undergone from torture and repression to freedom exemplifies the experiences of every Tunisian.
As we have consistently called for since the revolution, the Tunisian people need an alliance to achieve the democratic change for which generations of Tunisians and major trends have sacrificed – and today, we have delivered on that promise. The new interim government, to be headed by Ennahda, the Congress for the Republic and Ettakattol, represents the will of the Tunisian people to work together, hand in hand, to deliver on what the revolution set out to achieve – the establishment of a democratic pluralistic system based on the rule of law, protection of freedoms, respect for human dignity, justice, accountability and just economic development. There is a vast common ground between parties of diverse ideological backgrounds and we remain fully committed to governance based on cooperation and consensus for the good of the country.
On this day, we are proud to witness the pluralism of the Assembly, which represents the diversity of Tunisian society. We are particularly proud that nearly half of Ennahda's members in the Assembly are women and that Ennahda has contributed more female members to the Assembly than any other party – an inspiring 42 female Ennahda members out of 49 women in the Assembly. This is testament of our commitment to the full participation of women in political and public life, and we will continue to strive, together with our partners, to protect and advance the status of Tunisian women as equal partners in the development of our country.
Just as the Tunisian people succeeded in the first step of their revolution – removing the dictator – we will work together to succeed in the second – dismantling dictatorship and establishing a modern, pluralistic democratic system befitting our people's sacrifices and aspirations.
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