- Title: Tunisia's moderate Islamist Mourou launches presidential campaign
- Date: 30th August 2019
- Summary: (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VICE PRESIDENT OF ENNAHDA PARTY AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ABDELFATTAH MOUROU, SAYING: "We want to give Tunisia a name throughout this continent, one that is based on solidarity, cooperation, enrichment, and permanent development. We want to make out of Tunisia a capital for Africa." SUPPORTERS LISTENING DURING CAMPAIGN EVENT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VICE PRESIDENT OF ENNAHDA PARTY AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ABDELFATTAH MOUROU, SAYING: "We must first achieve a connection between Tunisia and its surroundings. We must have it spread its arms to its neighbours, to its beloved ones whose people are also the people of Tunisia, whose interests are the interests of Tunisia, whose history is the history of Tunisia. We are here to say that the borders that stand between us on maps have no meaning to us in our hearts." SUPPORTERS LISTENING DURING CAMPAIGN EVENT (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) VICE PRESIDENT OF ENNAHDA PARTY AND PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE, ABDELFATTAH MOUROU, SAYING: "And in your hands lies the heart of the country, the country that is based on dignity and might. That is what I learned from you. That is what you taught me. That is what I learned from you. (inaudible). I remind you of this. This is not new to you. God is with those who believe. And once you believe, you must continue to believe."
- Embargoed: 13th September 2019 16:20
- Keywords: Tunisia Moderate Islamist Party Ennahda Abdel Fattah Mourou Campaign Politics Elections
- Location: TUNIS, TUNISIA
- City: TUNIS, TUNISIA
- Country: Tunisia
- Topics: Government/Politics,Elections/Voting
- Reuters ID: LVA003AUEV6FB
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: EDITORS PLEASE NOTE: AUDIO QUALITY AS INCOMING
Tunisia's Ennahda Party launched the presidential campaign for its vice president, Abdelfattah Mourou, on Friday (August 30) at an event in the capital Tunis.
Mourou attended the campaign event with party president Rached Ghannouchi, who announced the electoral programme.
Mourou, a lawyer, says his aim is to unite Tunisia and transform it into a capital for the African continent.
The moderate Islamist will face 25 other candidates in the country's presidential election, due to be held on Sept. 15. His opponents include prominent secularists such as Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, his Defence Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi and a TV tycoon.
Mourou, kept under police surveillance during the 24-year rule of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, has a good chance of surviving the first round of the election because the secularist vote is split, analysts say.
If he wins the second round he would become a standout, elected Sunni Islamist president in North Africa and the Middle East, where many longtime rulers style themselves as bulwarks against radical Islamism. Whether that would happen is less clear in a country with no reliable opinion polls.
Tunisia, where the Arab Spring uprising began, is more secular than the rest of the region: its elites study in Europe and women enjoy more rights. Ennahda has sought to distance itself from other Islamist movements such as the puritanical Wahabi sect of Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood.
Despite avoiding top positions since 2014, Ennahda remains the largest party, with grassroot networks even in small towns, in contrast to secular parties, which have repeatedly split.
(Production: Zoubir Souissi, Zoubir Souissi, Dina Selim)
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