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Ghannouchi: Tunisia should help itself before it asks the world

Leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda movement, Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi [File photo]
Leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda movement, Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi [File photo]

Rached Ghannouchi, head of Ennahda Movement party said that: “Tunisia has to help itself first before asking for any help from the world,” and suggested that Tunisia is going through a state of “carelessness, reluctance to work and to pay taxes.”

In his statements, reported by Tunisian media on Sunday, Ghannouchi said that “reports of money laundering and terrorism financing coming from Tunisa is due to the delay in the response and in sending the files to the concerned parties in due time.”

Ghannouchi also said that, “Those who accuse Ennahda Movement party of killing Chokri Belaid and of terrorism and those who criminalize the party’s leaders without judicial condemnation are advocates of exclusion that might lead to civil war,” as he put it. He added that “They did not prove that democracy could emerge from a Marxist ideology.”

He stressed that “Tunisia has succeeded in establishing democracy which is only one step ahead as the municipal elections are drawing near, and these are part of the Tunisian revolution dues,” as he put it.

Last Wednesday, the European Parliament included Tunisia in the blacklist of countries that are highly vulnerable to money laundering and terrorism financing.

Last Thursday, the Tunisian Foreign Ministry issued a statement in which it described “the course adopted by the European Commission in the decision-making,” as “unfair and hasty against Tunisia.”

Read: Tunisia fears over Al-Qaeda regrouping in the country

The statement expressed the hope that “Tunisia’s name will soon be removed from this list, in light of the Tunisian government’s intensive efforts in terms of its national and international commitments and with the Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering (FATF),” according to the statement.

It is worth mentioning that Tunisia is preparing to hold its first local elections after the revolution, on May 6.

Observers consider that the escalating accusations among political parties, which coincides with the seventh anniversary of the Tunisian revolution, and the anniversary of the assassination of Popular Front leader Chokri Belaid, as part of an early electoral campaign.

On Saturday, Ennahda Movement party announced that, “in light of the successive pre-planned defamation campaigns against it, and given that some of media figures still insist on their false accusations and provocations to the party and to its leadership and the incitements against its members and supporters, the party has decided to take legal action against all individuals and media institutions who are involved in these campaigns and insist on carrying them out”.

Ennahda’s statement considered that, “the decision to take legal action is in itself part of what the revolution has always sought to achieve: a healthy democratic environment and a free and professional media that respects the minds of the Tunisian people and is at the service of the national interest only. It is also part of the party’s willingness to defend its vision, what it had done for Tunisia, and the struggles that its martyrs, prisoners, and displaced people, women and men, had had to endure” according to the statement.

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