Radio Interview with Tunisian Islamist Rached Ghannouchi

News article, posted 11.07.2011, from Tunisia, in:
Radio Interview with Tunisian Islamist Rached Ghannouchi (Photo: Express FM)

Summary: In an interview with Tunisian radio Express FM, Islamist party head Rached Ghannouchi confirmed his nomination of his fellow Ennahdha member Hamadi Jebali for PM, and named six candidates for the position of president, over half of whom served in a ministerial position under the country's first president, Habib Bourguiba.

These nominees for president include: center-left Congress for the Republic's Moncef Markzouki; center-left Ettakatol's Mustapha Ben Jaafar; former transition Prime Minister Béji Caïd Essebsi, also a former minister under Bourguiba; Mustapha Filali, former Bourguiba-era minister and member of the High Committee for the realization of the objective's of the revolution, of political reform, and of democratic transition; Ahmed Ben Salah, also former Bourguiba-era minister and long-time union activist; and finally Ahmed Mestiri, former Bourguiba-era minister and founder of the Movement of Democratic Socialists, which won two seats in the 2011 Constituent Assembly.

Though the article does not explore this, it seems noteworthy that all of Ennahdha's listed nominees for prime minister and president are over the age of sixty, some in the 80s and even 90s, despite the fact that Tunisia's revolution was led in great part by the country's unemployed, disillusioned, and marginalized youth.  Hamadi Jebali, Ennahdha's nominee for PM, is 62 years old. Nominees for President are similarly aged or significantly older: Moncef Marzouki is 66 years old; Mustapha Ben Jaffar is 70 years old; Béji Caïd Essebsi is 84, soon to be 85 years old; Mustapha Filali turns 90 years old in 2011; Ahmed Ben Salah is 85 years old; and, finally, Ahmed Mestiri turned 86 years old in 2011.

In view of the age of the last three candidates and their relative invisibility in the pre- and post-election period, some may consider their presence on the list a symbolic gesture on the part of Ennahdha towards the independence period and early Bourguibian legacy, of which many Tunisians remain proud.

The interview with Rached Ghannouchi is available via a link at the bottom of the article. The interview is conducted in Formal Arabic and the Tunisian Arabic dialect.

Original Language Text: 

Dans sa première sortie médiatique post- élections, le président du parti Ennahdha, Rached Ghannouchi, a déclaré au micro de Wassim Belarbi, que son parti respectera les libertés individuelles des Tunisiens et le code du statut personnel.

Grand vainqueur des élections pour l’assemblée constituante, le parti débutera aujourd'hui mercredi 26 octobre ses consultations en vue de constituer un gouvernement de coalition. Il a réaffirmé que Ennahdha compte proposer son secrétaire général Hamadi Jebali pour le poste de premier ministre.
Il a précisé à cet égard que six personnalités n'appartenant pas à Ennahdha sont proposées pour le poste du président de la République à savoir, MM Moncef MArzouki, Mostpha Ben Jaafar, Béji Caid Essebsi, Mostpha Filali, Ahmed Ben Salah et ahmed Mestiri.

Présentant la feuille de route du prochain pouvoir en Tunisie, Ghannouchi s’est voulu rassurant vis-à-vis de la communauté des affaires et des investisseurs quant aux choix économiques de son parti. Il a précisé qu’Ennahdha est pour l’économie du marché et l’enrichissement licite des Hommes d’affaires.