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Ghannouchi: Tunisia’s revolution still bearing fruit

Leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda movement, Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi in Tunis, Tunisia on Octobe 2018 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]
Leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda movement, Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi in Tunis, Tunisia on October 2018 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]

Tunisia’s 2011 revolution is still achieving its goals today as the hopes and ambitions of the people are being realised, the leader of the Ennahda movement, Rached Ghannouchi, said.

In an interview with Al-Khaleej Online Ghannouchi said: “The most important gain of the revolution is the freedom that was available to all without exception, and it is not important then who is in power. Based on this principle, Ennahda renounced the monopoly on power, because we believe that when we abandoned it for the homeland, we will return to it as long as the spring of freedom is stable and continuous.”

“The movement that won the majority in the elections of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) in 2011 rejected the hegemony of government, and was keen to establish a political system in which secularists and Islamists coexist. The movement called for a government of national unity, and two secular parties accepted.”He stressed that “revolutions neither die nor retreat, but may go through a situation of latency, monitoring and waiting. They are rather waiting for circumstances to explode, and will achieve their objectives in time.”

In response to the question about the reason for the success of the Tunisian revolution and its failure in other countries, Ghannouchi said: “There are several factors behind this, particularly the significant concessions made by the Ennahda movement, in order to reach understandings with others on coexistence.”

READ: Tunisia aims to half poverty rates in a decade

“Others also have made concessions for the same purpose, and this political awareness of the importance of adopting the revolution and not to abandon it is one of the most important reasons for the success of the revolution.”

“The second reason,” he continued, “is that the Tunisian army did not exploit the revolution to gain power, as happened in other countries. It maintained the security of the state, protected the borders and supported the opposition. For this reason, we honour the army and its leaders in every meeting and occasion. Tunisians honour their army, because it did not betray them.”

He added that “the non-existence of oil in Tunisia is also an important factor … The absence of ambitions for the big countries in ours has contributed to the non-interference of these countries in our internal affairs, as happened with other Arab Spring countries, such as Libya.”

Ghannouchi denied having any ambition to run for the presidency.

“The revolution has done a lot of favours for me. I have been displaced out of my country for 22 years … However, the revolution brought me back honoured to my country, and that’s my biggest gain.”

“Ennahda movement has not yet decided who will run for presidency, whether he will be one of its supporters, or a consensus candidate. This issue is still open for discussion.”

READ: After salary rises, IMF delays loan for Tunisia

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