- Title: TUNISIA: Former dissident Moncef Marzouki installed as president
- Date: 13th December 2011
- Summary: TUNIS, TUNISIA (DECEMBER 12, 2011) (REUTERS) (*** BEWARE FLASH PHOTOGRAPHY ***) TUNISIAN CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY IN SESSION VARIOUS OF MEMBERS VOTING BALLOT BOX PRESIDENT OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY SPEAKING ELECTED PRESIDENT, MONCEF MARZOUKI, SEATED DEPUTIES APPLAUDING NEW PRESIDENT, MONCEF MARZOUKI, BEING CONGRATULATED CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY MEMBERS SINGING OFFICIAL ANTHEM (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SALIM BIN HUMAIDAN, SPOKESMAN OF THE CONGRESS FOR REPUBLIC PARTY, SAYING: "There was consensus within the government coalition about Mr. Moncef Marzouki as president of the republic and he was elected today by the Constituent Assembly, and for the benefit of the next stage of the revolution. We are the government of the revolution which is the first elected and legitimate government. It is the result of the blood of the martyrs and the makers of the revolution." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SOUAD ABDEL-RAHIM, DEPUTY, ENNAHDA MOVEMENT, SAYING: "The Presidency is one of the symbols of the Republic and it is another step and another pillar of Tunisia." MEDIA PERSONS MEMBERS DEBATING MEDIA AND MEMBERS MORE OF MEMBERS DEBATING LOBBY OF THE COUNCIL MORE OF MEMBERS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) SECRETARY-GENERAL OF TAJDID MOVEMENT, AHMED IBRAHIM, SAYING: "I didn't present my candidacy. For the democratic opposition block we have decided not to present any candidate for the same considerations that led us not to vote on the temporary law about public authorities." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) MOHAMED BRAHMI, SECRETARY-GENERAL OF CHAAB MOVEMENT, SAYING: "We object to the manner and to the scene as a whole. We hope to elect a president with full authority and we wish to see the president of Tunisia free from captivity, but unfortunately we find the president of Tunisia is a hostage." MEMBER VOTING COUNCIL MEMBERS NEW PRESIDENT ADDRESSING ASSEMBLY PRESIDENT OF THE CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY EMBLEM OF THE REPUBLIC
- Embargoed: 28th December 2011 12:00
- Location: Tunisia, Tunisia
- Country: Tunisia
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA32F33R7GRLAEMS2MS3OWGCFRJ
- Story Text: Tunisia installs as its new president a former dissident who was imprisoned and then exiled for opposing former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, a new landmark in the country's post-revolutionary transition to democracy.
Tunisia on Monday (December 12) installed as its new president a former dissident who was imprisoned and then exiled for opposing former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, a new landmark in the country's post-revolutionary transition to democracy.
Members of the constitutional assembly, Tunisia's interim parliament, voted to elect Moncef Marzouki as president, the second most powerful role after the prime minister.
Marzouki, 66, is respected by many Tunisians for his implacable opposition to the autocratic Ben Ali. As president, he will be a secularist counterweight to the moderate Islamist party which is now Tunisia's dominant political force.
Salim bin Humaidan, spokesman for the Congress for Republic Party said there was a consensus within the constitutional assembly to elect Marzouki.
Tunisia became the birth-place of the "Arab Spring" uprisings in January when protests forced Ben Ali, in power for more than 23 years, to flee to Saudi Arabia.
That inspired revolutions in Egypt and Libya, as well as unrest in other Middle Eastern states.
Marzouki, who was elected with 153 of the 202 votes cast, will serve for a year until the constitution is re-written and new elections are held.
About 40 opposition members of the assembly cast blank ballots in protest at a vote they said was a charade to mask the fact that real power was now held by the Islamists.
"I didn't present my candidacy. For the democratic opposition block we have decided not to present any candidate for the same considerations that led us not to vote on the temporary law about public authorities," said the secretary general of the Tajdid Movement, Ahmed Ibrahim.
Mohamed Brahmi, secretary general for the Chaab Movement said he objected to the process of the presidential selection.
"We object to the manner and to the scene as a whole. We hope to elect a president with full authority and we wish to see the president of Tunisia free from captivity, but unfortunately we find the president of Tunisia is a hostage."
Secularist politicians say the Islamists will undermine Tunisia's liberal values and impose a strict moral code. Ennahda denies it has any such intentions, saying instead it will follow the moderate example of the Islamists who rule Turkey.
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