TUNIS, Aug 24, 2012 (AFP) -
TUNIS, Aug 24, 2012 (AFP) –
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki on Friday attacked his Islamist allies in the ruling coalition, accusing them of seeking to monopolise power, in a letter read at the opening of his party’s congress.
“What complicates the situation is the growing feeling that our Ennahda brothers are working to control the administrative and political operations of the state,” Marzouki said in the letter, which was read out by one of his advisers.
“This behaviour reminds us of the bygone era” of ousted dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali,” he added, condemning “the appointment of supporters (of the Ennahda party to key posts) whether or not they are qualified.”
Reacting to the president’s charges, several top government officials belonging to the Islamist party walked out of the conference, including Human Rights Minister Samir Dilou and Interior Minister Ali Larayedh, according to an AFP reporter.
Marzouki belongs to the Congress for the Republic (CPR), a secular, centre-left party that partners Ennahda in the ruling three-party coalition, along with Ettakatol, also on the centre-left.
The moderate Islamist party dominates the alliance, after winning the largest share of votes in legislative elections last October, with the premiership going to Ennahda’s Hamadi Jebali.
Many civil society and opposition activists have criticised the president, a veteran human rights activist and dissident under Ben Ali, for not resisting the Islamist party’s increasingly authoritarian tendencies.