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Tunisia’s Mourou retires ‘definitively’ from politics

Presidential candidate Abdelfattah Mourou of Ennahdha party casts his vote at a polling station in the first round of presidential elections in Tunis, Tunisia on September 15, 2019. ( Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency )

The Tunisian Ennahda movement’s Vice President Abdelfattah Mourou announced that he will retire “definitively” from political work and return to his former career as a lawyer.

In statements given to Tunisian media, Mourou disclosed that he had “torn the ticket of politics” and that he no longer has any political or partisan position in the Ennahda movement.

Mourou’s decision came in conjunction with the publication of a secret document, which was published by Arabi21 and which is also being circulated amongst leaders of the Ennahda movement. The document is entitled “The Unity and Renewal Group” and calls for holding the movement’s eleventh conference, no later than the end of this year.

The document stresses on: “The importance of the role of the movement’s leader, Mr Rached Ghannouchi, in actively accompanying the new leadership situation after the eleventh conference, while making sure to succeed in his mission at the head of the People’s Assembly, and in his position of leadership of the country in the present and in the future.” The document also calls for a peaceful rotation of Ennahda’s leadership, which would mean not changing its rules to allow Ghannouchi to renew his presidency in the movement.

“This is an internal document, and we consider its content an internal matter. I signed it, and we will not talk to the media about details,” confirmed Noureddine Arbaoui, Ennahda movement’s political relations officer, and one of the signatories to the document.

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When asked about the leaking of an internal matter to the public, Arbaoui answered: “Whoever leaked this matter does not want good for the group and wants to distort its image. This is a legitimate matter within the group, as we are looking for the movement’s unity.”

“Mr Ghannouchi is fully aware of the document, unlike the rumours that he is angry about it. The head of the movement respects it and it has been out for more than two months, since 16 March,” stressed Arbaoui.

Chairman of Ennahda movement’s Consultative Council, Abdelkarim Harouni, explained that: “The document is an internal matter that is not to be discussed in media outlets. This is why it has not been published, as it is a contribution to dialogue within Ennahda before the holding of the movement’s eleventh conference. It is in fact closer to a declaration of principles to provide the conditions for the conference’s success in a way that promotes the movement’s unity, within the framework of respecting its basic law and prioritising the conference and democratic rules, so as to ensure the holding of the conference in 2020 and the leadership rotation, while defining the position and role that befits the movement’s leader, Mr Rached Ghannouchi.”

Harouni also emphasised that: “The internal dialogue is open to different opinions, so that the conference be the culmination of consensus within the movement and the need for substantive, structural and leadership renewal. Everyone who wagers on dividing or confusing the movement by leaking this document is delusional.”

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