True democracy expected in 5 years in Tunisia: President

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki stated that his dream was to see the achievement of true democracy in Tunisian in the next five years.

True democracy expected in 5 years in Tunisia: President

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has stated that his dream was to see the achievement of true democracy in Tunisian in the next five years.

President Marzouki delivered a speech at a meeting titled “Tunisia’s pioneering role in the transformation of the Middle East and North Africa” at the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey (TEPAV) in the Turkish capital of Ankara on Wednesday.

The Tunisian president underlined that his country was a progressing one, that the revolution in Tunisia could not have been realized without a leadership and without ideals. “There was only societal consensus, it was all geared by the people, by wise youngsters,” said President Marzouki.

“My dream is to bring democracy to the people of Tunisia in five years of time. Once all the political, social and economic reforms are there, we can tell that we achieved it or not," stressed Tunisian president.

“We went through a winter of despotism and oppression. And now we are leading towards another era to success,” said the president, adding, “this is a very difficult era for our society because we might fail and we might go despotism and oppression back. If vice-versa, so if we can success that would be a true spring.”

He highlighted Tunisia was part of the democratic world until former President  Zine El Abidine Ben Ali came to power and noted, “Tunisia was ready for democracy, as you know we had very strong trade unions, political parties which all advocated democracy and robust civil society however when Bin Ali came to power, he oppressed these trends.” He blamed Ben Ali for the fall of Tunisia and said, “It is ironic that he came to power with democracy but he abused democracy and did not keep promises and his acts surged to the fall of Tunisia.”

Tunisia raised hopes again after Ben Ali’s collapse, he said and added, “Now we are discussing rights and liberalization. People complain for social justice as there is an environment of corruption.” Marzouki underscored social justice saying, "If there is no social justice, people will always be ready for propaganda.

The Tunisian president highlighted they were determined to be successful and were facing challenges such as social and economic problems. “Revolution took place due to economic and social problems. Youngsters are the driving force for this revolution.”
Indicating that they were going through hard times, President Marzouki said they had to plan their timing very properly in the scope of tackling economic and social problems. “When the government does rooted reforms, they do not happen overnight.  It is not easy to solve social and economic problems in a very short run. There are very high expectations in Tunisia. We have to take necessary precautions in time and very fast.”

Furthermore, he highlighted another major problem in the country which was security. “Once oppression and despotism leave the country, then you can see everything, the right and the wrong more clear. Sometimes, criminal acts and murders peak because there is a conducive environment after a revolution,” stressed President Marzouki.

“People of Tunisia want the development and the freedom,” said President Marzouki and he described Tunisia as a laboratory and added, “The experience of the coalition government is being mobilized in this laboratory. ‘How are we going to move in the act of these challenges? How we are going to take steps in this economic environment? How we are going to fight against terrorism?’ We have 300 million Arabs in the region to set an example for them. There would be other revolutions to follow this one." He said, they were not only testing themselves yet, testing the whole region. He stated, other countries would naturally adopt their experience. “We are not trying to export our revolution nor want to export our revolution to somewhere else or to other nations.”

Marzouiki said the stability in Tunisia meant the stability of the region. Tunisia does not have any problems with any countries and its neighbors as well as Turkey and Europe already help achieve democracy in Tunisia, said Marzouki.

Marzouki also noted, Tunisian government had been working on the new constitution for the past one year and faced some challenges adding, "The issue of Sharia is a very important topic whether to include it or not in the constitution and how we can deal with women's rights. There are also some discussions about the political management. Some circles want parliamentarian regime while others want to have the presidency model. The main approach in Tunisia is to let a consensus in the end. We are also trying to make women be superior. There will be discussions for each and every chapter and I hope it would be approved in the end."

Marzouki said Tunisia was not such a poor country adding it was despotism and corruption which made Tunisia fall behind.

"There are opportunities in Tunisia but there is a lack of investments. It will take some time to make the connection with the opportunities and the investors," Marzouki added. "Without security and stability there will be no investments, so we will ensure security for investments," said the Tunisian president.

Tunisia needs a liberal economy which is not corrupted. Turkish economy is a very important model, Marzouki said. "Tunisia has a political consensus with Turkey. Turkey has gone through an economic revolution.This is a strong country free of corruption and a good model for Tunisia."

Marzouki also touched upon the uprising in Syria since March 2011 and he said the Syrian government did not listen to the requirements and demands of Syrian people and resorted to violence.

Concluding his speech at Ankara-based think tank TEPAV, Marzouki said Tunisia represented moderate Islam fighting the radicals who hamper democracy. "We have to find a political formula to reach a consensus. Moderate secularists and moderate Islamists should come together and the moderate group of both sides should embrace each other," said Marzouki.

Moreover, President Marzouki visited the Middle East Technical University's (METU) "Teknokent" during his visit in the Turkish capital.

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Last Mod: 29 Mayıs 2013, 16:51
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