This blog's main topics are the political situation in Tunisia and all the activities surrounding the election of the Constituent Assembly that was held on October 23rd 2011. You will also find interviews and discussions that I conducted with politicians and bloggers from the Revolution. All this from a Canadian perspective in Tunis.
vendredi 11 novembre 2011
Mixed reactions from the Islamists to the controversy
Hamadi Jebali, Secretary General of Ennahda.
It’s the Secretary General and candidate for the
position of Prime Minister of the Islamic party Ennahda, Hamadi Jebali, that
had to reply publicly to the controversial statements made by Souad
Abderrahim the day before.
Ms. Abderrahim, during a radio interview on Wednesday, had stated that single mothers represent “a disgrace for Tunisia and that
they shouldn’t have the right to exist.” She also said that “there is no place
in Tunisia for absolute liberty. Liberty must be respectful of religious
Faced with outraged reactions in the media and on
social networks, M. Jebali, without condemning or expressing disapproval to his
colleague’s statements, simply said “that improvement of the status of women in
Tunisia remains a central element of Ennahda’s political program.” Pressed by
questions from journalists, he surprised many by stating “I haven’t heard Ms.
Then asked about the rights that single mothers should
benefit from, he mentioned that they “must be treated the same way as any other
Ms. Abderrahim also commented on the controversy she
created the day before in an interview with the online newspaper
Tunisia-live.net. Far from retracting herself, she said that the topic of
single mothers is “disturbing” and that “nobody wants to hear about it.” She
then confronted those that had denounced her on social networks and blogs by saying
that these individuals “were only looking to distract public attention from the
These reactions coming from two members who occupy
very important positions in the hierarchy of the Islamic party are startling.
Firstly, the number two person in the party, who is potentially the next Prime
Minister of Tunisia, contradicts his colleague while repeating that he hasn’t
heard the comments that are everywhere on the Internet and in the media. And secondly,
Ms. Adberrahim maintains her views and accuses those that criticize her of
simply trying to divert public opinion. This is a story that we are going to
hear about again in the next days and weeks.
News from the Constituent Assembly and elsewhere
The Independent High Authority for the Elections (ISIE)
announced today that the final and complete results of the October 23rd
election would be revealed on November 14th. Last week, electoral
observers from the European Union asked the ISIE to disclose the number of
votes for each riding and polling station as quickly as possible. However, the
ISIE wished to wait until all protests concerning the election had been
addressed by the Administrative Court, a process that finished yesterday.
As for the beginning of the Constituent Assembly, following
a decree by interim President Fouad Mebazaa, everything is expected to start on
Tuesday November 22nd.
On a complete different subject, we learned today that
the most controversial candidate of the elections and leader of the Aridha
Chaabia party, Hachmi Hamdi, will arrive in Tunis on Saturday. It seems a great
number of his supporters will be at the airport to greet him.
M. Hamdi was in London throughout the electoral
campaign preferring to make televised appearances on his private station El
Mostakeella, instead of being in Tunisia. Aridha Chaabia is the party that had
eight of its candidates disqualified for electoral fraud before the Administrative
Court overturned the decision and reinstated seven elected of its candidates.