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Tunisia: Ennahda denies formation of secret organisation and condemns attempts to link it to terrorism

October 5, 2018 at 12:51 am

The leader of the Ennahda movement, Ali Laarayedh

The leader of the Ennahda movement, Ali Laarayedh, denied the existence of any secret organisation affiliated with the movement. He accused the Popular Front (a group of left-wing parties and a national faction) of getting used to slandering and distorting Ennahda movement. The Popular Front had  accused Ennahda of “forming a secret organisation that is involved in the assassinations.”

He has been imprisoned since the Troika era 

Laarayedh – who was the Minister of the Interior and Head of Government during the ruling period of the Troika between 2011 and 2013 – said that the Popular Front attacked the state institutions, and stated that Mustafa Khidr – who is serving an eight-year sentence – was arrested by the authorities in 2013, during the rule of the Troika.

The Ennahda movement issued a statement denying any activity outside the framework of the law and strongly condemned what it said is misinformation. It added that there is no connection between the defendant and the Ennahda movement. It also denounced the fabrication of charges against state institutions of justice, security and Presidency of the Republic and the abuse of the country’s foreign relations with sisterly and friendly countries.

It said that the issue of martyrs Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi is the concern of the judiciary, and affirmed its full confidence in the fairness, independence and the disclosure of the whole truth.

It said that the Popular Front is only interested in using the blood of martyrs to cover up its failure in the previous elections, and its inability to provide serious programmes for the Tunisian people.

Exploiting blood

The defence committee in the case of Belaid and Brahmi accused what it called “apparatuses” of stealing legal files related to the assassination of Belaid and Brahmi, during a press conference held last Tuesday. It explained that the files have not yet been handed over to the judiciary.

The committee added that the Ministry of the Interior refuses to hand over the documents to the investigating authorities, and stressed the need to release what it called “black room” materials that are directly related to the two assassinations.

Exploitation of Ennahda’s dispute with Essebsi

The head of the Shura Council of Ennahda Movement, Abdelkarim Harouni, accused the Popular Front of attempting to settle accounts outside the judicial system and exploiting the current political situation to bring down the movement and implicate it in any way in the cases of the assassination of martyrs Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi.

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Abdelkarim Harouni said that “the Popular Front does not recognise the state and its apparatuses, and does not recognise the judiciary and the security system in Tunisia.” He considered that the Front exploits the two assassination cases and uses blood to reach the government after failing to do so through democratic means. He called it to carry out reviews to respect the law in the country.

Harouni added that the Front raised the two cases at this particular time to bring down the movement after the president’s recent statements about the end of the consensus between him and the movement. He also stressed that the political consensus rejected by the Front would continue to manage the affairs of the state.

Abdelkarim Harouni denounced the Popular Front’s accusation of Ennahda of controlling the judiciary and stressed that the Tunisian judiciary is independent and has proved this in several cases, such as the case of Lotfi Nakth (Ennahda was accused of killing him, and the judiciary confirmed the movement’s innocence).

Harouni revealed that some of the Popular Front leaders were working with the political police before the January 14 Revolution, and described them as incapable of confronting Ennahda politically.

He stressed that the Ethe nnahda movement would address all these practices for the consolidation of democracy, and its officials will meet soon to determine the appropriate response to these charges, as he put it.

The leader of Ennahda Movement confirmed that the “Barraket Essahel” issue crucial and he absolved the Ennahda from thinking of or making any coup attempt, because it was the party most affected by political assassinations, and it contributed to the disclosure of Ansar al-Sharia.

Harouni accused the Front of poisoning the political atmosphere in the country and exploiting the ending of the consensus with the Nidaa Tounes to bring down the movement.

From failure to parallel state

The leader of Ennahda movement Abdel Hamid Al-Jalasi said in a press interview after the conference that he thought the Popular Front would address the important issues in the country that concern citizens during the press conference held on Tuesday, October 2, 2018, especially as it came at the beginning of a new political year.

He went on saying:

We have found ourselves in a situation that I will call the transition from political failure to the parallel state, and what is remarkable about the conference is its timing. It seems that the Popular Front does not have the will to control the timing. We know that some of the components of the Front were functional. We thought that the revolution would change them, but they are still nostalgic for the past.

He added that this is part of the disregard for the state and its institutions and that what was declared in the press conference does not frighten us and the Tunisian judiciary is responsible for it. He concluded: “All that is missing is that the martyrs wake up from their graves, begging enough of exploiting them.”

The Secretary-General of the Democratic Patriots’ Unified Movement, Chokri Belaid, was assassinated in front of his house in El Menzah VI on February 6, 2013.

Mohamed Brahmi, a member of the National Constituent Assembly, was also assassinated in front of his house in the capital on July 25, 2013, and the two cases remained under the jurisdiction of the judiciary.