Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

Race debate overshadows Springbocks' preparation for World Cup

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Photo of Syrian boy continues to cause furor

Read more

THE DEBATE

China's Might on Parade: Old foes wary of show of strength (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

China's Might on Parade: Old foes wary of show of strength (part 1)

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Congolese warlord's trial opens in the Hague

Read more

FOCUS

Guatemala's presidential elections mired by corruption scandals and political turmoil

Read more

ENCORE!

David Lagercrantz on taking over Stieg Larsson's Millennium series

Read more

EUROPE NOW

Looking for a European identity (part 2)

Read more

EUROPE NOW

Looking for a European identity (part 1)

Read more

Africa

Tunisian consensus 'unique in the Arab world'

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-01-13

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has defended the progress made since the fall of the country’s former strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, telling FRANCE 24 that Tunisians have gone from being “subjects” to “citizens.”

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 on Saturday, Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki defended the “mental revolution” that had taken place since the ousting of his predecessor, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, two years ago.

“Today, Tunisians are no longer subjects, they are citizens,” he said, adding that those in power now knew that they were accountable. Rejecting accusations that the media were being stifled, he cited the “hundreds of journalists who are criticising the government and are not in prison.”

When asked about his uneasy alliance with the Islamist party Ennahda, which dominates the government, he assured that it was the best course of action “to avoid conflicts between the Islamist and secular camps”.

The Tunisian president said the country had reached “a consensus unique in the Arab world”, which had enabled it to avoid the civil strife witnessed in other countries affected by the 2011 Arab spring.

Downplaying the influence of fundamentalists, Marzouki also encouraged women “not to be afraid,” assuring that the legal system would ensure that Tunisians could carry on enjoying their new freedom.

On the issue of violent protests against rising unemployment, the president repeated that the pace of change was necessarily slow. “We are setting up the fundamentals; it takes time, at least three to five years, we can’t just press a switch,” he said.

Finally, regarding the democratic process, he said a realistic timeline for elections would be “before the summer.”

Date created : 2013-01-13

  • TUNISIA

    Tunisian Islamists besiege opposition meeting in Djerba

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Tunisian president heckled on Arab Spring anniversary

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Tensions with ruling Islamists threaten Tunisia's coalition

    Read more

COMMENT(S)