Tunisia prime minister hits out at 'Tamarod' movement

AFP , Monday 22 Jul 2013

'I don't think this movement will succeed. It's a copy of something foreign in Tunisia,' PM Ali Larayedh says on Tamarod movement

Tunisia's Prime Minister Ali Larayedh speaks during a news conference in Tunis February 22, 2013.(Photo: Reuters)

Tunisia's Tamarod movement, which has called for the dissolution of the National Constituent Assembly, is endangering the country's democratic process, Islamist Prime Minister Ali Larayedh said on Monday.

"This copycat group which calls itself Tamarod is clear, and I think it represents a danger to the democratic process, an attempt to make it fail in Tunisia," Larayedh said in a radio interview.

"I don't think this movement will succeed. It's a copy of something foreign in Tunisia," he added, referring to Egypt's grass-roots movement behind the mass protests that led to Islamist president Mohamed Morsi's overthrow on July 3.

Shortly before Morsi was ousted, Tunisia's version of Tamarod (rebellion in Arabic) launched a petition demanding the dissolution of the national assembly, where the ruling Islamist party holds the most seats.

Ennahda, which is close to Morsi's Muslim Brotherhood and heads Tunisia's coalition government, triumphed in October 2011 parliamentary polls -- the first freely-held elections after the mass protests that toppled former Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

According to the latest figures, dated July 14, the group has collected 870,000 signatures, Tamarod spokesman Mehdi Said told AFP.

The claim could not be verified.

The movement, which was created by 14 youth activists, has struggled to mobilise mass support and internal differences have seen three of its founding members evicted.

The National Constituent Assembly has failed to adopt a new constitution nearly two years after it was elected, due to a lack of consensus among MPs, and has also been repeatedly criticised for its inefficiency and the non-attendance of members.

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