First Published: 2011-01-18


Tunisian Islamists will request legal status


Ennahdha movement leader says his party wants complete reforms, not false measures.


Middle East Online

TUNIS - Tunisia's banned Islamist Ennahdha movement will request official status as a political party, one of its leaders said Tuesday, after a spokesman said Ennahdha would take part in parliamentary elections.

"We are planning to make a request," Ali Laraidh, who was imprisoned for 14 years under Tunisia's old regime for plotting against the state, said.

"If democracy is installed we will be a party like all the others, we will have our rights and our duties," he said.

"We want complete reforms and not false measures," he said, adding: "The situation is confused and open to all sorts of possibilities."

A spokesman for the movement in Paris earlier on Tuesday said that Ennahdha (Awakening) planned to take part in planned parliamentary elections but that the movement's exiled chief Rached Ghannouchi would not seek the presidency.

Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi earlier said the Islamist chief, who has a life sentence for plotting against the state hanging over him, will not be allowed to return to Tunisia before the approval of a planned amnesty law.

Monday, Ghannouchi also unveiled a new government, promised parliamentary and presidential polls within six months and announced complete media freedom as well as the release of all political prisoners.


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