The leader of Tunisia's Ennahda movement, Rashid Al-Ghannouchi, has defended the right of the country's ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family to retain Tunisian passports, Anadolu news agency has reported.
"Every Tunisian has the right to obtain a Tunisian passport and identity card, even former President, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and his family, so they do not live hunted their entire life," Ghannouchi told a gathering of his party supporters in Bizerte, in the north of the country.
Ghannouchi said: "We in the Ennahda party lived for 20 years hunted without passports, and I had to travel with a UN passport and was often stopped at airports. I do not want anybody else to live like this today."
Ghannouchi pointed out that Tunisia is in need of real reconciliation with its past, saying that: "We have to bury our hatred and head towards the future."
"Transitional justice will resolve these file,s and we do not want to pass our hatred to future generations just like the former President Habib Bourguiba's regime did," he added.