The leader of Tunisia’s Al-Nahda Party, Sheikh Rashid Ghannouchi, has said that he expects a new Tunisian government to be announced shortly. The member of the Board of Trustees of the World Association of Muslim Scholars was speaking on the sidelines of the Second Conference of the National Rally for Reform and Development Islamic Party in Mauritania.
“Moncef Al-Marzouki is our president and he has the right to express his opinion and his thinking in the development of the government’s performance,” said Sheikh Ghannouchi. “No one in Tunisia can say that the current situation is ideal at the moment.”
He pointed out that the experience of Al-Nahda in Tunisia is guided by the idea that countries in transition periods need harmony or a broad consensus. “A simple majority may not be enough in such cases,” he added, “and this is what pushed Al-Nahda to form a ruling troika with two secular parties.”
Ghannouchi explained that it is “possible” to expand the troika to incorporate new parties and coalitions, and dialogue is ongoing in this regard. “The revolution has granted everyone his liberty, which is reflected in the number of political parties in Tunisia.” The figure has now reached 145.
In response to the suggestion that the Salafist movement has overrun Tunisia and has become a serious threat to the country’s security and strategic interests, Ghannouchi said it is just a media and political scare which some are spreading for their own reasons, “but it is not the reality on the ground”.
He stressed that the revolution opened the door of freedom for everyone, but justice will be applied to anybody who violates the law, regardless of political affiliation. “The Salafist movement, like all the Islamic and secular movements, is a part of the current Tunisian political scene,” he insisted.