Secular Tunisian Party Set to Drop Islamist Ennahda After 2013 Vote
Translated from Al-Khaleej (U.A.E.).
Secretary-General of the Tunisian Congress for the Republic (CPR) Mohammed Abbou said that his party’s alliance with the Islamist Ennahda is temporary and only intended to ensure the country’s political stability.
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In an interview with Al-Khaleej, the head of Tunisia’s secular Congress for the Republic (CPR), Mohammed Abbou, said that his party will end its alliance with Ennahda after the 2013 elections and that the CPR’s candidate for the presidency will be current Transitional President Moncef Marzouki.Publisher: Al-Khaleej (U.A.E.)
The Secretary General of Tunisia’s CPR Party to Al-Khaleej: Our Alliance with Ennahda Will Not Continue and Marzouki is Our Candidiate for the 2013 Elections
First Published: October 17, 2012
Posted on: October 20 2012
Translated by: Rani Geha
Categories : Tunisia
He said that the alliance will end after the 2013 elections. He denounced the statements made by Ennahda’s Rachid Ghannouchi as well as the government’s mistakes in dealing with certain issues.
Abbou, who resigned from Hamadi Jebali’s government administration, said that in the next elections the CPR will nominate former CPR leader and current Transitional President Dr. Moncef Marzouki for the presidency.
The following is the text of the interview:
Al-Khaleej: You have fiercely defended Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi’s comments, which were recently leaked through a video on the Internet.
Abbou: I did not defend Ghannouchi’s statements at all. I considered them to be contrary to the values of the civil state that the CPR is calling for. I renew my condemnation of the statements made by Ennahda’s leader. Such statements should not be made by a politician because they provoke fear among the citizens. The Tunisian people will not allow their lifestyle to be changed, nor for the freedoms and gains achieved by the revolution to be touched. They want them strengthened, not weakened.
Al-Khaleej: How true are the rumors about you withdrawing from the troika?
Abbou: After the party congress in August, we agreed to remain within the troika provided that we can affect fateful national decisions, implement some reforms and build the second republic by setting a timetable for the new constitution, the electoral law and a host of other issues.
Al-Khaleej: What’s new regarding the upcoming cabinet changes?
Abbou: Our country’s top priority now is to set up a timetable for future work. Our discussions inside the troika were mainly over urgent national matters. Discussions about minor cabinet changes has been postponed. Some are distorting the facts about ministries that are doing an excellent job.
Al-Khaleej: What drove you to question the funding sources of the Nidaa Tunis party?
Abbou: Nidaa Tunis has been spending generously and it has recently exhibited signs of extreme wealth. The party’s leaders may be linked to persons with special political interests or to suspicious funding sources. Therefore we have the right to wonder who is funding that party. The CPR has submitted a draft law on financial transparency to monitor the financial accounts of political parties, associations and media organizations in order to ensure full transparency and prosecute those who break the law.
Al-Khaleej: Did you resign as minister of administrative reform and join the CPR in order to serve your political ambitions?
Abbou: It was necessary for me to leave the cabinet after the prime minister and I disagreed as to what my powers are in pursuing major corruption files.
Al-Khaleej: Will you run for president of the republic?
Abbou: That matter has not been proposed, nor will it be in the future. The CPR candidate for the presidency will without a doubt be the current President of the Republic Dr. Moncef Marzouki, since he has a large support base.
Al-Khaleej: The latest statistics and figures show a drop in the CPR’s popularity. Is that partly because of Adbel Raouf Ayadi’s departure from the party?
Abbou: The party has started to recover from its recent problems, which in one way or another have harmed its popularity. The other reason is that participating in government is very costly. Performing one’s duty and seeking the country’s higher interests by preventing two political poles from forming and achieving a political balance has no doubt cost the CPR some popularity. Moreover, some have blamed the party for things that it is not responsible for. Jebali’s government is very reluctant to open certain corruption files. I advised him to quickly address that matter and hold the offenders accountable by making radical decisions. If the troika moves ahead with the reforms it will without a doubt gain the support of the public.
Al-Khaleej: Some former CPR members have accused the party of being submissive to Ennahda. Some went as far as saying that the party is infiltrated by Ennahda.
Abbou: For now, we will maintain our partnership with Ennahda and the government until the 2013 elections in order to prevent two political poles from forming and to ensure the country’s political stability. On the other hand, we doubt that we would be able to maintain our alliance with the Islamists in the future because of the mistakes that Ennahda has committed after it reached power. We hope that nationalist forces that share our goals emerge because if we look outside of the Ennahda framework, we do not see any “angels” within the existing parties.
Al-Khaleej: Do you support Ennahda’s decision to boycott any TV program that hosts a Nidaa Tunis leader?
Abbou: We will not refrain from sitting next to a Tunisian intellectual who has a different political or ideological orientation. Every Tunisian has the right to freely express his opinions.
Al-Khaleej: What do you think of the initiative taken by the Tunisian General Labor Union?
Abbou: It is a good initiative, one which the CPR appreciated. But the problem is the participation of some political forces that say that [the government] will become illegitimate after October 23, 2012 and that called for a consensual legitimacy after that date. I am referring to Nidaa Tunis.
Al-Khaleej: During the electoral campaign, the CPR called for accountability, opening the corruption files and holding those who killed the martyrs accountable. Are you satisfied with the decisions made by the military courts regarding the martyrs, and why have you not yet opened the corruption files?
Abbou: When I was minister of administrative reform, I did not have sufficient power to open the important corruption files, so I decided to resign. As for the decisions by the military courts, the CPR has called for abolishing all military tribunals and for transferring the legal cases to civilian courts.
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