26 November 2012

Tunisia: President Marzouki in London - Imperative to Hold Elections Early Summer 2013

London — Caretaker President Moncef Marzouki Sunday stressed the imperative to hold elections early summer 2013.

Addressing members of the Tunisian community in London, he highlighted the need to avoid ideological conflicts, the quota policy and the one-party system, and to meet such real challenges as the fight against poverty and desertification and improving living conditions of underprivileged families.

"Tunisia", he said, "is a real laboratory where peaceful democratic transition is being tested and political players coexist in a context of coalition and consensus."

Marzouki's three-day visit to the United Kingdom came after the decision of the UK Royal Institute of International Affairs to award the "Chatham House" Prize 2012 jointly to him and to President of "Ennahdha" Movement Rached Ghannouchi.

Marzouki said "We are here to say to all those who have chosen to award us this prize that the experience of the coalition reflected in the ruling Troika will continue and succeed."

"The key to the success of this experience is the Troika's understanding of the Tunisian society which believes in individual and collective liberties and is attached to its origin and its Arab Muslim identity," he added.

Tunisian expatriates, who attended the meeting, focused on the security situation in Tunisia, high living costs, ways to recover stolen assets, the conditions of Tunisian detainees in Europe and the situation of Tunisian expats.

They also asked about the situation of Tunisians who are deprived of nationality, Arab Maghreb construction, the implementation of the general amnesty and the emergence of the Salafist movement in Tunisia.

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