Tunisian runner-up also taking Turkey as model

Tunisian runner-up also taking Turkey as model

TUNIS / ANKARA – Anatolia News Agency
Tunisian runner-up also taking Turkey as model

The leader of the Congress for the Republic Party Moncef Marzouki, flanked by unidentified staff members, arrive for a press conference on Oct 26 in Tunis. AFP photo

Turkey has become an inspiration for more than just the winners of Tunisia’s first free elections, as the runner-up in the North African country’s polls last week has also pointed to Ankara as a model.

“Turkey is a good model as it preserves its national identity and culture and opens itself to the world with its democratic and economic achievements at the same time,” said Moncef Marzouki, the leader of the Congress for the Republic (CPR), adding that they had great affinity towards Turkey.

Marzouki also thanked Turkish executives who backed Arab and Palestinian causes and expressed hope that Turkey and Tunisia, as two Mediterranean countries, would boost their economic and cultural relations.

Meanwhile, Monia Ibrahim, one of 42 female lawmakers from the 90-person caucus of the country’s newly elected Islamist Ennahda party, hinted Oct. 29 that Turkish and Tunisian women could cooperate in the future.

“We can follow Turkish women in politics and democracy. The Turkish model is very honorable and a good model but Tunisia has features that are special to itself. We want to build a new Tunisia,” said Suad Abdurrahim, another female parliamentarian.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu congratulated Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi on the phone on Oct. 29 and said he would pay a visit to Tunisia as soon as possible, according to diplomatic sources. The Turkish foreign minister also said Ankara had never taken into consideration religious, ethnic or sectarian discrimination during developments in Lebanon on Syria.

 A coalition government must be set up as soon as possible in order to solve problems in Tunisia, Marzouki said, adding that he did not expect it to take long to form a coalition government that included CPR.

The inclusion of the CPR in the government is important, Marzouki said, adding that the support his party would extend to reforms was also significant.

The CPR leader further added that he could consider a run at the presidency.

On Oct. 28 Tunisia’s electoral commission officially declared Ennahda the winner of election with 41.47 percent of the vote and 90 of the national assembly’s 217 seats. The CPR, which was founded in 2001, came second with 13.82 percent of votes and 30 seats, while the Ettakatol party came third with 9.68 percent and 21 seats.

A coalition government led by Ennahda is expected to be formed within 10 days. The new government’s main task will be the drafting of a new constitution.