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Former Tunisian PM wants Ennahda to remain a strong opposition

January 19, 2015 at 3:41 pm

Former Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali has criticised the involvement of Ennahda in the upcoming government, calling it a “democratic mistake”, German news agency DPA reported.

Jebali, who headed the first Tunisian government after the revolution as a representative for Ennahda, resigned.

Speaking to DPA by telephone, Jebali said: “The opposition will be absent on the political arena… Now, Nidaa Tounes occupies all authorities; therefore, I see that the second major party in the country, Ennahda, must remain the main opposition. This is the second basis of democracy in any free country.”

He continued: “Ennahda is the positive opposition which we have been awaiting because it does not hinder the work of the government or criticise it just to embarrass it or the ruling party. It supports the ruling party if it does well and respects the constitution and observes it.”

Jebali said that this does not mean that Nidaa Tounes would monopolise authority even if there are several people who are worried about this.

“In general, autocracy by Nidaa Tounes, Ennahda or any other party always leads to monopoly,” he said, “we lived a long time under such regimes and it is enough. Therefore, there is a need for an opposition to observe the work of the government.”

He ruled out that there is a bargain between Ennahda and Nidaa Tunis to form a joint government. He said they are likely looking for a kind of stability for the country.

Refuting claims that Ennahda attempted to monopolise authority over the past three years, he said the party did not rule alone, but with another two parties.

“It is enough for it that the country laid down its constitution and carried out parliamentarian and presidential elections in a short time,” he said. “Therefore, where is failure? Where is the Muslim Brotherhood programme which Ennahda attempted to impose?” he wondered.

“It is right that most of the Islamist movements in the region were originally offshoots of the Muslim Brotherhood, but each one has its unique social and ideological atmosphere,” said Jebali.

He said he believes that Ennahda should have nominated a presidential candidate from its members to compete against Beji Caid Essebsi, or at least it should have supported a candidate from another party.

Regarding claims that he is setting up a new political party, Jebli said: “The party which I dream of is unconventional and it has to unite all Tunisians and solve their problems, otherwise, it is not needed.”