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Ghannouchi:  Situation in Tunisia is difficult; everyone should participate in reform

The Islamist leader of the Ennahdha Party Rached Ghannouchi arrives at the Kasbah Palace to meet the Tunisian Prime Minister on October 9, 2018 in Tunis. - Tunisia's presidency on October 5 announced the extension of the country's state of emergency, imposed in 2015 following a series of deadly jihadist attacks. The decision to prolong the state of emergency until November 6 comes amid a tense political climate ahead of legislative and presidential elections planned for next year. (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP) (Photo credit should read FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite recent political crisis in Tunisia, Ennahda movement held a massive public meeting which gathered movement supporters with its head Rached Ghannouchi in the city of Ariana.

Rached Ghannouchi, the head of Ennahda movement, travelled to Italy a few days ago, leaving behind controversy and accusations of the movement by the Defence Committee of Martyrs Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi of forming a secret organisation. He returned after participating in a conference organised by the Mediterranean Dialogue Centre and found that the presidency of the Republic has been engaged somehow in the debate, and Beji Caid Essebsi transferred the file to the National Security Council.

Dialogue is a way to manage the dispute

The head of Ennahda Movement Rached Ghannouchi declared his commitment to dialogue as an advanced tool for managing differences. He mentioned that the country and its experience need all the Tunisians without exception, including members of the Popular Front; some of whom call for the exclusion of Ennahda from the political scene. He reiterated that the popular neighbourhoods and marginalised groups are the strength of Ennahda movement and its solid popular base.

Ghannouchi stressed that the situation the country is facing is difficult and it is imperative for everyone to participate in the reform process. He explained that the recent accusations against the movement of forming a secret organisation are not new, and recalled the date of the “accusation,” when the former regime has followed all its opponents who were not allowed to express themselves and exercise legal activity.

Ghannouchi also recalled the trials that his party was subjected to because of the regime’s refusal to allow him to establish a party and have the legal work permission; some of which were under the heading of “forming a secret organisation”. He said in this context: “They accused us of being a secret organisation, and our response was ‘admit it and leave it fighting for its homeland in the framework of democracy and the rule of law,’ but they responded with arrests and destroying the movement and carried out a comprehensive war which ended only when the revolution broke out.

Dark rooms

Ghannouchi pointed out that the same bodies that have launched these campaigns and their supporters are still following the same strategy, which is a proof of their refusal of political competition with the movement and their inability to do so, pretending that it is a secret organisation without the seizure of weapons or explosives.

Ghannouchi: The parties that launched campaigns against us are still pursuing the same strategy

The head of Ennahda movement addressed Tunisians directly, saying: “Ennahda does not carry a message of threat to anyone, but if Ennahda is in the forefront and proved it in multiple occasions, a wise person cannot engage in the process of destroying it or turn it into a scarecrow and accuses it of what it is not. He added that “Ennahda is consistent and strong, and as the campaigns of distortion increase, Ennahda will be stronger by its unity and its ability to act.”

A controversy of equality in inheritance

As for the controversy over equality in inheritance, Ghannouchi stressed that the economic and social problems and the continuing consolidation of the emerging democratic experience aspects proved to be a popular priority in the past years. The president of Ennahda movement said that inheritance is not a popular issue. It is not part of any party programme and is now adopted as part of the campaign to divide the society and destroy its unity.

There is no contradiction between Islam and civilisation

Ghannouchi warned against strengthening the understanding that proves the contradiction between Islam and culture and to make the two concepts in a state of conflict and disagreement. He stressed that it is a contradiction which is initially not proposed. He added that the articles of the constitution are not contradictory, but explain each other in an integrative manner, away from attempts to fabricate points of conflict between the provisions of the Constitution to tamper with the unity of the Constitution, which was praised by the whole world.

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