Tunisia: Tunisia's Islamist party chief urges national dialogue
unisia's Ennahda Islamist Party leader and founder Rached Ghannouchi (R) attends a conference to mark the 31st anniversary of the party.
The head of Tunisia's ruling moderate Islamist party Ennahda lamented Sunday the widening divisions and lack of national dialogue in the post-revolutionary country's social fabric.
Rached Ghannouchi told an audience celebrating the 31st anniversary of the birth of Tunisia's Islamist movement that the nation needed better dialogue as it sheds years of autocratic rule to become a democracy.
Salafist Islamists last month rampaged through Tunisian towns, torching police stations and attacking bars.
"The objectives of the revolution can only be accomplished through a national consensus," he said. "At this difficult time, we need consensus and reconciliation dictated by the national interest and not by narrow partisanship."
The moderate Ennahda party was legalised in March 2011 following the overthrow of longtime president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in a popular revolution.
Ennahda has refused to adopt fundamental sharia law but some have voiced fears the Islamist movements within the country, emboldened by the Ennahda victory, may try to restrict free expression and secular values.
Recent violence has sparked criticism against Islamist officials elected after the revolution that they have done too little to stop the Salafists.
"Those who want to divide society, sow discord and who treat people badly are not part of the revolution," Ghannouchi said.
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