Marrakech - Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has announced that he will stand for reelection for Tunisia’s President in November. Parliamentary elections will take place in October.
Marrakech – Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has announced that he will stand for reelection for Tunisia’s President in November. Parliamentary elections will take place in October.
“My candidacy is an example of transparency,” he said, according to an AFP report. “We must not allow corruption in this first democratic experience,” he added after registering for the November 23 vote.
The upcoming elections will complete the protracted democratic process launched in 2011, which stipulated the creation of a new constitution and elections for a new government following the interim process.
President Marzouki has been Tunisia’s the interim President since the Ennhada-led government was elected in 2011. He remained President after the government stepped down to allow a non-political government of technocrats under Prime Minister Mehdi Joumaa to take over, following the assassinations of two Tunisian MP’s, Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahimi. The Ennhada-led government was said by many to have been too lenient towards violent Salafists who assaulted women and secular members of society, including artists,media professionals, and university professors. These Salafists included the subsequently banned Ansar al Sharia, which led an attack on the American Embassy in Tunis.
President Marzouki insisted that his alliance with Ennhada was a necessary part of Tunisia’s political evolution. Tunisia’s transition has been turbulent, and Mehdi Joumaa’s interim government has given Tunisia much-needed breathing space from political controversy so that the National Constituent Assembly could finally pass the constitution and set a date for the next elections.
Those standing in the presidential elections include Mustapha Ben Jafaar, Speaker of the National Assembly and leader of the Ettakatol, Beji Caid Essebsi, President of Nidaa Tounes, Nejib Chebbi, leader of the Republican Party, and Hachmi Hamdi, head of the Tayar Al Mahaba party. In total, there are some 13 potential candidates. Ennhada has said it will not field a presidential candidate. There has been some speculation that former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali might stand as an independent, but this has not been confirmed.
President Marzouki has had some difficult moments as President, including the disturbances over unemployment in the industrial areas around Sidi Bouzid and Jendouba. He was accused of being too close to Qatarand ignoring human rights issues regarding Tunisian women. However, he has survived these crises and been praised by many for his role as President, especially for developing strong relations between Tunisia and the US, EU, and GCC. As a former leader of the Tunisian Human Rights League, he spent many years in exile during the Ben Ali regime.
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