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04:06, 23 November 2014 Sunday
13:40, 19 February 2013 Tuesday

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Tunisia’s Ennahda debates reform
Tunisia’s Ennahda debates reform

While the traditionalist wing of the Ennahda movement strongly opposes a technocratic government, the reformist wing views it differently

Abdullah Aydogan Kalabalik / World Bulletin - Cairo

The process of reform, and consequently division, within the Tunisian Ennahda Movement has begun. The crisis which began with the assassination of Democratic Patriots' Movement leader Chokri Belaid on February 6 has affected the Ennahda Movement along with the troika government.

Prime Minister of the interim government, Hamadi Jebali insisted in his position regarding the establishment of a technocratic government. Tunisian wise men from different national political parties and change movements (Hukema Tunus) also express views in favor of a technocratic government.

Meanwhile Rashid al-Ghannushi and the team around him, representing the traditionalist wing, seek the establishment of a coalition government which accords with the parliamentary composition derived from the public vote and democratic elections. Ennahda plans to organize a meeting against a technocratic government this Saturday under the slogan “legitimacy.” The location of the meeting has not yet been announced.

The traditionalist wing of Ennahda insistently favors the presence of the Islamic movement in the government, and interprets the technocratic government as a means through which the secularists will seize the government from them. Meanwhile the reformist members within the Ennahda Shura Council have a different assessment of a compromise government composed of technocrats.

The Republican Party of Tunisia expressed support for Jebali and the establishment of a smaller-scale technocrat government, and indicated that this is a historic opportunity. The Nida Tunis (Tunisia’s Call) party, known as a supporter of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, urged the Tunisian Constituent Assembly to complete tasks such as the drafting of the electoral law and the constitution as soon as possible.

As in Egypt, the liberal, secular and leftist opposition in Tunisia accuses an Islamic movement of “seizing the state and polarizing the people.” Experts explain that this is not the misdeed of Islamic governments, but that it is normal that polarization begins following the atmosphere of freedom that accompanies revolution, and that people hide their lifestyles while under the rule of dictatorial regimes.

When the latest developments are taken into account, it is evident that the Islamic movements in both Tunisia and Egypt must undergo a process of reform or transformation. Initiatives to govern or direct from behind the scenes have proven unsuccessful.

The Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau and Khairat El-Shater in Egypt, and the Ennahda Shura Council and Rashid al-Ghannushi in Tunisia must play their trump cards openly. Ghannushi might be a presidential candidate in Tunisia while Khairat El-Shater might be a candidate for prime minister in Egypt.

When authorities in shadowy governments which do not accept responsibility are insisted upon, the people pay the price, and have begun to do so.



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