According to an interview published by Middle East Eye, President of the Tunisian Ennahdha movement, Rached Ghannouchi said , in response to accusation of conducting parallel diplomatic missions ” that “this would be true if I were opposing official diplomatic policy. In my case, it is more like a form of popular diplomacy serving the country’s official diplomatic stance” , adding “if the president told me this was a problem, I’d stop. I’m in constant contact with him, so our efforts can only impact his policies positively”.
As regards the allegations to Ennahda’s role in the Troika in encouraging fighters to leave Tunisia, Ghannouchi underlined That “was nothing more than a lot of political skirmishing. The country is heading toward (local) elections and certain parties are worried we may win, because Ennahda is the best organised party in the country”.
He also underlined that “They are using scare tactics, linking us to terrorism. But Ennahdha actually leads the front against terrorism. Our detractors forget to mention that Ansar al-Sharia was designated a terrorist organisation (on 28 August 2013) under the Ennahda government. We declared war on the organisation and banned their meetings”.
Referring to the legal framework for holding municipal elections, which has to be amended by the House of the People’s Representatives (HPR), Ghannouchi stressed that discussions are underway with the other groups, and we hope to reach an agreement, particularly on the voting rights of security force members (a policy opposed by Ennahdha).
No laws can be amended either without us or by us alone. The elections are not meant for political imbalance. What counts here is achieving Tunisia’s democratic transition by holding municipal elections, he added.
On his desire to run 2019 presidencial election, Ghannouchi said ”that’s not on my current agenda. We will talk about that when the time comes”.