Ennahda Accused of Pressing for Shariah in Tunisia's Constitution

Article Summary
High-profile Tunisian MP Samia Abbou has expressed her unease over the Islamic elements of the new constitutional draft, and accused the ruling Ennadha party of reneging on its promise to maintain a secular state, Business News reports.

On Nov. 1, 2012, the daily Tunisian newspaper Le Maghreb conducted a long interview with Samia Abbou, a member of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) and Congress for the Republic (CPR).

Abbou has once again confirmed the ongoing discussions among NCA members regarding the constitution preamble and the issue noting that the constitution “is based on the principles of Islam,” spell danger for the civil state, which could be replaced by a religious one.

In this context she said that “the country is not leading a life of true democracy!”

Abbou explained that the debate on Shariah [Islamic law] has once again been placed on the table since the Ennahda party “has the impression that the Tunisian people have granted it absolute power, when the Islamic party won a landslide majority.

“Thus, it seeks to incorporate Shariah into the constitution, while during its electoral campaign it made no mention of this matter. At that time, Ennahda had even gone as far as to pledge to establish a civil state in compliance with the law and institutions,” she said.

Abbou raised her voice saying that the people would never accept a constitution that enshrines religious extremism promoted by Ennahda.

“In the coalition of the Troika government, it was Ennahda that has done wrong, by ignoring the people’s interests and by looking after its own interests alone,” she said.

Furthermore, Abbou emphasized the difficulty of the moment and the governance during this transitional phase, especially “in the absence of a political will to adhere the revolutions’ objectives, namely, the delineation of responsibilities, developing inland regions, disclosing snipers, and cleansing the judiciary and the media. Instead, Ennahda has embarked on the path of a religious state.”

Abbou concluded by stating that “the coalition failed because Ennahda acts on the grounds that it was elected by the people, and we serve as mere companions and not as real partners. I also learned from certain CPR officials, that the congress is likely to withdraw from the Troika government, should Ennahda continue to miss opportunities to come up to our expectations.”

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Found in: salafist, ennahda, congress for the republic party, congress
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