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Interim president insists democracy does not come out of autocracy

November 22, 2014 at 1:42 pm

The interim president of Tunisia, Moncef Al-Marzouqi, insisted on Friday, “The one who kept silent or practiced autocracy for years cannot build democracy today.” His speech at the end of his presidential election campaign was reported by Anadolu news agency.

“There are some people who want to divide the Tunisians and return to the partisan and caste system mentality,” said Al-Marzouqi. “However, Tunis will remain the property of all parties, faiths and ideologies.”

Pointing out that the policy of the past 50 years did not concentrate on quality, but on “loyalty, nepotism, corruption and partisan quotas,” Al-Marzouqi added: “I am proud enough to be the nominee for all parties, castes and ideologies.”

He noted that press freedom is “in danger” nowadays and that this ushers in “more dangers” for all freedoms. “There are people who do not believe in freedom of expression, press and creativity,” he said. Without naming anyone, Al-Marzouqi stressed that, “They have not yet ruled [the country] and started harassing these freedoms.”

The presidential candidate called for all to remain faithful to the sacrifices of the martyrs who were killed during the revolution, as well as to undermine the return of the old regime.

Around 5.2 million Tunisians have started to vote for their choice of president from among 27 candidates. Those living in exile started voting on Friday.