Tunisia: Ennhadha, Rached Ghannouchi re-elected president

Historic congress is democratic turning point

23 May, 10:20

    Historic leader of Ennhadha Rached Ghannouchi Historic leader of Ennhadha Rached Ghannouchi

    TUNIS - The historic leader of Ennhadha, Rached Ghannouchi, almost 75, has been re-elected to the leadership of the Tunisian Islamic party for a new five-year term. Ghannouchi was confirmed as president with 800 votes in favour, compared to 229 for Fethi Ayadi and 29 for Mohamed Akrout.

    His re-election brought to a close the 10th general congress of Tunisia's second largest political party and government coalition member alongside the secular modernists of Nidaa Tounes, as well as the party with the biggest number of seats in parliament. The more than 1,000 delegates present in Hammamet gave broad backing to all the items on the agenda, including the historic separation between political activity and religious preaching, which was carried with 80.8% of votes in favour. Political commentators present at the congress say this decision makes the party more modern, pluralist and respectful of democratic and civil rights.

    Delegates also approved new party rules comprising 136 articles - compared to the previous 40 - that open the door to internal democracy, pluralism and equal opportunities by introducing norms that facilitate party membership. Ennhadha is now focusing on inclusive economic development for a successful democratic transition in Tunisia and sets out to be one of the key actors in the political life of the North African country. "Today Ennhadha is a political and national party inspired by Islam and that operates in full compliance with the Constitution," said Ghannouchi in a speech shortly before his re-election, underscoring his distancing from political Islam.

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