Tunisia: Islamist party seeks national consensus

A three-day congress gathering of the Islamist party in power kicked-off in Al Karm with an estimated 25,000 to 30,000 people to grace the occasion. It is Ennahda’s first congress at home in 24 years and its first since it came to power after the ousting of Ben Ali. The congress is aimed at determining the party’s position on political alliances and to fusion the moderate and radical ideologies of the party.
One of the invited guests is the political chief of the Palestinian Islamist movement (Hamas) which rules over the Gaza Strip, Khalid Meshaal, who received a rousing welcome from the crowd upon his arrival.
In his opening remarks, Rachid Ghannouchi, the head of the Ennahda party urged for unity among citizens so as to have the desire to heal their wounds and uplift their values. “We are a united people” he said, before laying emphasis on the necessity of a national reconciliation in order to overcome the challenges that they are facing today. He also highlighted the importance of tolerance because he believes that “all movements can cohabitate” in the country. The head of the ruling party opined that the “country needs a national consensus” as a solution to its obstacles while assuring “that the country is in good hands.”
Mustapha Ben Jaffar, chief of Ettakatol which is part of the coalition government, reminded Tunisians that the ball is in their court to build “a modern state which guards the identity of the Arab-Muslim people” in accordance with a civil republican regime and to stand up against dictatorship in its different form.
The congress was also marred by chants of slogans such as “Bashar, get out!” by the participants.

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