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New Tunisian protest movement to mirror Egypt's Tamarod campaign

Tunisian youth follow in the footsteps of their Egyptian counterparts as they launch a parallel Tamarod campaign to offset Islamist influence in their country

Reuters , Wednesday 3 Jul 2013
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Tunisian opposition activists have launched their own version of Egypt's Tamarod protest movement, whose campaign to remove President Mohamed Mursi drew millions onto the streets and led to an army ultimatum for the Islamist leader to share power.

The youthful, little known leaders of Tunisian Tamarod (Rebel) hope to galvanise opposition to their own Islamist-led government which, like Mursi, came to power after an uprising in 2011 swept an autocratic leader from office.

Like its Egyptian namesake, the Tunisian group accuses the Islamists of trying to usher in a religious state that smothers personal freedoms and failing to drag the economy out of crisis.

Its members said they planned to call for mass protests after quickly gathering the signatures of about 200,000 people opposing the government.

That is a fraction of the 22 million signatures their Egyptian counterparts said they collected against Mursi, but the Tunisian activists believe they can acquire comparable momentum.

Tamarod spokesman Mohamed Bennour said the group aimed to overturn a Constituent Assembly charged with drafting a new constitution, accusing the body of preparing the ground for a religious state. It also wants a new caretaker government.

"Tunisia's young are following in the footsteps of young Egyptians.. We are not satisfied with what is happening in the country, from an attack on freedoms to a bad economic and social situation," Bennour told reporters.

The struggle for power has deepened animosity between Tunisia's Islamists and liberals since the ousting of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in the first Arab Spring uprising.

But the protest group may struggle to have the same impact as Egyptian Tamarod.

Egyptian liberals and secularists accuse Mursi and his Muslim Brotherhood of spurning any form of political compromise and forcing through a new constitution to further a project of Islamic rule.

The Brotherhood denies this and accuses its opponents of violating democracy by supporting a military coup against an elected head of state.

But the scale of this week's protests suggests its failure to share real power has helped alienate millions of ordinary Egyptians suffering from the government's economic mismanagement.

In contrast, Tunisia's governing Islamist party Ennahda managed to head off growing street protests and appease secular-minded parties by ushering in a coalition government in March that included several independent ministers.

Ennahda has also accepted that sharia (Islamic law) is not mentioned in Tunisia's new constitution, a demand of secular politicians.

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john
31-08-2013 09:31pm
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mr
Egyptian peoples not able democracy .mus be silave how keep mubak them .they dont know value of democracy .now usa using tamrod .make more and more wors .this nations ignorents
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Abd Elrahman
03-07-2013 08:09pm
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US..
Previous dictatorships are coming back! We (arabs&muslims) will never be free until the U.S government stop controlling and influencing our countries and politics.
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Salah
03-07-2013 11:53pm
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US
We were never free for a Millennium, much longer than the creation of the USA. with your mindset, we will have no future. We become free when we focus on building a better future for our children than distracting ourselves and our people with fairytail of the past. The young people need to learn to build instead of distracting their energy in fighting imaginary wars with phantom enemies that are not outside but inside our heads. walk up and WORK and not fight.
Abdul Jalil
03-07-2013 09:30pm
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It's not about the US
Adb Elrahman, did you hear the saying, Sharia don't put food on the table, Egypt don't need the brotherhood and don't blame the US for the brotherhood's inability to bring Egypt together.
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