Ululations, drums and strobe lights catapulted Tunisian presidential candidate Abdelfattah Mourou onto the stage at the Palais des Congrès in central Tunis. A passerby might have mistaken the event for a wedding, instead of the launch of an Ennahda election campaign.
Over synthesized notes from a kanun, a string instrument, voices chanted, “Mourou, Our President, Mourou,” in an anthem recorded for the campaign. The 71-year-old Mourou, who has distanced himself from his party’s more socially conservative positions, danced jovially in his trademark jebba. The national anthem was also among the music played, and Islamic prayers were invoked.