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    What Ennahda Did Right

    By Op-ed Contributor | Dec 11 2011 Share on Linkedin Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Google Share on pinterest Print

    Tags: Human Rights ,liberal ,Press ,Religion ,WPolitics

    What Ennahda Did Right

    An Open Letter to Moderate and Liberal Tunisian Parties

    By Jen Krimm

     

     

     

    Although Ennahda and some of its strategies during the election were controversial, I think there is much that moderate and liberal parties can learn from their campaign. As a former senior campaign and official staffer in the US Congress, I wanted to point out a few things I think Ennahda did well.

    Branding

    Every party in this election was pro-revolution and anti-Ben Ali.  That is great. But what else does your party believe?

    All the moderate and liberal parties blended together: middle-aged, male, elite, former opposition figures spouting the same rhetoric about democracy, human rights, and equality. When voters thought of Ennahda many words came to mind, including “Islamist, religion, controversy” etc.  Yes, some of these associations are negative, but they are specific and unique.

    Being against Ben Ali is not enough anymore.  Be specific and choose a brand.  With 100+ Tunisian political parties with similar names, each party needs to stand out somehow. Choose something specific you want voters to associate with the party: education, equality in inheritance laws, anti-corruption… it can be any issue/image, but it must be specific and the party must be dedicated to communicating it.

    Press Matters

    Some of Ennahda’s press coverage was negative, but at least they got press.  Voters cannot vote for you if they do not know who you are.   

    Ennahda—especially with their controversy and Islamist brand—generated a lot of domestic and international media. But they also ran a well oiled communications machine: professional press releases, statements, experienced spokespeople who knew issue positions, multiple languages, and were always accessible.

    Help the press. Spoon-feed media what you want them to know about your candidate/party. If you provide journalists with information to help them write their stories, there is a higher chance you will get the story you want.

    Communicate, Do Not Alienate

    Ennahda declares victory after the Constituent Assembly elections

    Not only did Ennahda speak to voters well, but voters in the interior of the country related to Ennahda candidates.

    Show voters that even though you might not fully understand all their issues, you are willing to try. Highlight what you have in common and talk to voters, not at or above them.  Yes, parties need to focus their energy and resources on places they can win, but the party must still be accessible to everyone.  Some liberal and moderate parties did not (literally) speak the same language as the interior of the country.

    And my last word of advice which brings it all together:

    Remember the Revolution

    Ennahda mobilized youth and spoke to the interior of the country where the revolution started, utilized the press, understood and explained the new electoral system, communicated their message/brand, and stood out from all the other parties.

    Before the revolution, politics in Tunisia were non-existent, and everyone was afraid of speaking out against Ben Ali.  But those who did speak out were immediately popular leaders in Tunisian politics.  Not anymore.  The revolution changed Tunisia. The politics must change too.

    NOTE FROM AUTHOR: After the election, many liberal/moderate parties have been seeking to improve their results for the next election. This piece is not advocating for any party/political view and is not an analysis of the reasons Ennahda took the most seats in the National Constituent Assembly. It simply points out a few strategies Ennahda used in the election that other parties did not (but could in the future).

    Jen Krimm served as a senior staffer on the US campaign trail and worked as the policy advisor and communications director for a member of the US Congress. She is currently living in Tunisia writing a book on the revolutions and is a non-partisan freelance consultant and commentator on international politics. www.voicesofthearabspring.org

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    Comments

      Lutfiya /

      You say “Help the press. Spoon-feed media what you want them to know about your candidate/party. If you provide journalists with information to help them write their stories, there is a higher chance you will get the story you want.”

      But we all know the reality that “the press” was almost unanimously anti-ennahda and pro the feckless “liberals” you are addressing. You therefore manage to miss the point. Ennhada, CPR and Ettakatol represented the values and aspiriations of the the vast majority of the Tunisian people. We are moving into a new phase in Tunisian politics. Those with dogmatic secular (atheistic) platforms will never represent any more than a minority. One that should recieve respect and due freedoms but only ever a minority. Future succesful parties in Tunisia will all have Islamic vlaues at their core. What else would you expect in a muslim country?

    1. Salah /

      An important point is forgotten by the author of this analysis. All secular parties that lost in the elections (such as PDP) are limited to an elite living in the bigger cities, and almost al of them (99%) are upper-middle class and/or the elite. They are therefore alienated from average Tunisian society, by values and ideas as well.

      An-Nahda represents much more the AVERAGE Tunisian, be it lower or middle class. And some parts of the elite. And is MUCH more able to penetrate all different classes and groups of society. You will find them in Tunis as much as in Kassrine, Medenine or Sidi Bouzid (rural area’s). Hamad Jibali is someone who is well educated, speaks French fluently just like the elite but appeals much more to a normal Tunisian that the ones in PDP or PDM.

      • JenKrimm /

        Salah and Mondher Smida, thanks for the comments. I do agree with some of your points (have even written about them before), and some of the points were left out for other follow-up articles…

        However, wanted to point out that this article is not an overall analysis of why Ennahda won (money, electoral system, voting against RCD, or voting for religion). I am merely pointing out/analyzing some of Ennahda’s specific campaign strategies that worked and that other parties didn’t use. Possible follow-up article soon though!

        Again, I want to say this is not a pro-Ennahda or pro-liberal/moderate party article, this is just simple campaign advice for the liberal and moderate parties for next time. Appreciate the feedback and hope this helps clarify!

        *traveling, so I might not be able to respond to new comments on here.

        • Salah /

          Hi Jenn,

          In general its a good article, keep it up. Its interesting for me to see foreigners (not meant as an insult!) analysing Tunisian politics. This has never ever been the case before and even now after the revolution Tunisia is not considered as important as Egypt in geo-politics for example. That’s why all the international media focus much more on Egypt or Libya instead of our precious Tunisia. Which is fine by me by the way, but makes it interesting to see someone like who reflecting on the political landscape in Tunisia nowadays and analyzing previous elections.

          So keep up the good work.

    2. Mondher Smida /

      I hope Jen reads the comments because both Salah and Lutfyia are right and both contradict her arguments. The information presented here is very superficial and, most importantly misses out on the most important factors behind Ennahdha’s success: 1- Funding. Ennahdha was successful because it had more money. Equally critical is that money came from foreign governments. Ennahdha used that money to provide social services (donations, gifts, cash, tutoring, etc) for 8 months. On election day, Ennahdha also bussed people to the booths. 2-Salah is 100% right. The other political parties were more the parties of the “elites.” They didn’t speak a language the people related to. 3- Lutfyia is 100% right too. The media in Tunisia is still in its infancy and it spreads information without checking it. So “Press Matters” not so much. What did matter is that many Tunisians do not accept the West philosophy that to be democratic, one has to give up her or his religion. Most Tunisians want both. 4- Tunisians voted against RCD more than they voted for Ennahdha. Some of the other parties had ex-RCD members in them and that turned people away. 5- The system was flawed. About 30% of Ennahdha’s seats came from parties that ended being eliminated. Ennahdha only won about 1.5MM votes out of about 4.5MM voters, or about 33% of the total electorate. The leaders of Ennahdha are very much aware of this reality, which is why they know they can’t move forward without compromising. While some of the comments from the author are correct, they must be put into perspective. Let’s recall the facts in order of importance so that we can all really learn from these events.

      • JenKrimm /

        Salah and Mondher Smida, thanks for the comments. I do agree with some of your points (have even written about them before), and some of the points were left out for other follow-up articles…

        However, wanted to point out that this article is not an overall analysis of why Ennahda won (money, electoral system, voting against RCD, or voting for religion). I am merely pointing out/analyzing some of Ennahda’s specific campaign strategies that worked and that other parties didn’t use. Possible follow-up article soon though!

        Again, I want to say this is not a pro-Ennahda or pro-liberal/moderate party article, this is just simple campaign advice for the liberal and moderate parties for next time. Appreciate the feedback and hope this helps clarify!

        *traveling, so I might not be able to respond to new comments on here.

        • Mondher Smida /

          Thank you for the clarification although your intent isn’t what concerned me. My reply can be summarized by saying that in mentioning Ennahdha’s “strategies,” you missed the most determining factors and cited the least impactful actions. The best feedback I can give you is to read all the comments your article generated and you’ll see that people were quick at correcting your statements.

          Accurate portrayal of the revolution and the elections is a sensitive topic in Tunisia and your article is perceived to be off the mark…

    3. Samir /

      I think CPR has a good chance to compete with Ennahdha in the future. Maybe we will see a merger between CPR and Ettakatol? But the biggest threat to Ennahdha is Ennahdha itself. The islamism of Ennahdha is worth nothing if unemployment and corruption prevails (which it will, for some time). Soon tunisians will realize it is perfectly okay to be muslim without voting for islamists. That day means bye bye for Ennahdha.

      • Salah /

        CPR has indeed a very good chance of doing better at next elections. This in my opinion first of all due to Mr Marzouki, he is THE face of CPR and very much appreciated by all kinds of Tunisians. From “left inclined” voters to the right, they almost all share the opinion that Marzouki is an sincere and honest man, who understands Tunisians and society and knows what he is talking about as a politician.

        I do think that you underestimate the fact that Tunisia is an Muslim country and will therefore ALWAYS have an important Islamic party in Tunisian politics in the coming decades. The amount of votes it gets might change more or less per elections but in general they will always attract an pretty wide range of voters, with different backgrounds(this is an important prerequisite for an party to become big). This goes for ANY Arabic Muslim country by the way. Because for many Tunisians an Islamic party represents not only their (religiously inspired) norms and values in politics but is also one which they feel closer to and would be more inclined to to trust.

      • Lutfiya /

        you miss the point. Ennahda don’t represent Islam. But they did (along with CPR and others)represent the will of the vast majority of Tunisian Muslims who inevitably wish to see parties providing solutions drawn from those islamic values. The new coalition could be easily voted for by any Tunisian Muslim depending on ones own preferences. What is clear is that only a party which draws from its arab-islamic heratige will garner sufficient votes. In the new Tunisia a dogmatic atheist elite without the support of dictatorship will have little influence.

    4. JenKrimm /

      Thanks for your comments! My point in this part: not all bad press is bad. I point out that although Ennahda had a lot of bad press, people at least knew who Ennahda was (a big positive). In the US we call this “name ID”. Although the press was decidedly pro-liberal, many of the liberal parties failed to get their party and its platform out there. (PS: I am not advocating for a specific party in this article… just commenting on the strategies that Ennahda executed well). Hope this helps!

      • Tunisian /

        You’ve hit the nail on the head. I am a Tunisian living in a western country and I realised immediately all the points you have raised. It was obvious to observers that the bad press around Nahdha was largely positive for them because the population had no respect for the press therefore bad press resulted in positive reaction. It’s a similar concept to what happens in the states with Sarah Palin, the more the mainstream media rubbishes her the more her base respect her. However in Tunisia’s case Nahdha’s base is the majority.

        Overall I feel the experience gained by Nahdha members who lived in the west has helped them in running successful campaigns. To bad the secular parties don’t have that experience.

        Good article!!

    5. hela /

      Hi jenn, Ma réponse a ton article sera en Français ! Oui ennahda a été trés perspicace dans son approche,elle a bénéficié d’une base populaire disposée et disponible à toutes propositions pouvant répondre à un besoin immédiat … en parole et approche de communication cela reste très efficace sauf qu’aujourd’hui Ennahda risque d’être victime de son propre succès ! il me semble qu’en terme de veille stratégique d’opinions elle ne dispose d’aucun outils lui permettant de relever les contradictions de son message et l’absence de réactivité face à ces dérapages creuse le fossé et favorise la division en interne .Des exemples de ratage de communication sont nombreuses en début de parcours , l’exemple de la dernière visite de Mr Ghannouchi aux USA , son discours prononcé au Washington Institute en est une preuve accablante ! aucun lien secondaire n’a été créé pour faire diversion !

      • Mondher Smida /

        @ Hela. Avec votre permission, je traduis pourque tous puissent profiter de votre analyse.

        I’m here just translating Hela’s comments so everyone can benefit from her input.

        Yes, Ennandha’s approach was very focused; it took advantage of a mainstream population ready and willing to accept any suggestions that provided immediate gratification … words and other means of communication are very effective, although Ennahdha’s success might ultimately be the source of its failure. It seems to me that its old school approach to address public opinion doesn’t give Ennahdha the tools it needs to explain the contradictions within its agenda and Ennahdha’s lack of clarification whenever it issues conflicting statements furthers the gap with the street and creates internal divisions. Examples of communication failures are numerous at first: when Mr. Ghannouchi lastly visited the U.S., his speech given at the Washington Institute is an incriminating proof of Ennahdha talking from both sides of its mouth. No clarification was provided to mitigate public discontent!

    6. Lutfiya /

      thats the age old problem of translating rhetoric into practice. All the new parties will have to deal with that. And I am sure over time it will somewhat erode the individuals attachement to any of those parties. No one said democracy is a great form of governemnt. Winston Churchil inndeed said it “is the worst form of government except all the rest”

    7. Melanie /

      Sorry but what on earth are you talking about???? Ennahdha multiple languages????????????????????????????!!!!!!!!!!!! Their manifesto was only ever in Arabic. Their interviews were only ever in Arabic. Thier political rallies only ever in Arabic!!!! That cancels me out right from the start from reading what they have to say. Most other parties (like the PDP) at least wrote their manifesto in French also.

      Ennahdha won pure and simply because they were financed heavily from many other countries, so WERE ABLE to give the polished campaign (if you could understand it that is…only Arabic again!)

      They also right from the start made themselves out to be the “Party of God,” so much so, that voters tended to forget that all the other parties were made up of Muslims also. People voted for their ticket to Heaven! Even a Tunisian whom I know from England, who had had years of voting democratically for the party with the best policies, after voting Ennahdha posted on his Facebook status, “I voted for the party who loves God and his prophet!!!” All I can say is, it is alright for somebody sat in their cosy armchair in England to vote in a party whose policies he didn’t even care to think about…he doesn’t have to live here…we do!

      I’m sorry Jen, but did you ever have the chance to read any of the other manifestos? The PDP had an excellent one! I am sure that had this party been voted in, Tunisia would soon become a mini Switzerland, with investors pouring into the country!

      All I can see now amongst many people I know, is that they are putting their houses/apartments up for sale, and getting out of the country as quickly as they can! Hardly encouraging is it!

      I hope that Ennahdha can do well for Tunisia, but I doubt it! They bought people with their money (paid for marriages, circumcisions, gifts, lifts from door to door to the voting stations, money for Eid, money for sheep etc etc) as well as they played on the people’s fear that if people didn’t vote for them they were Kaffar (infidels) and wouldn’t got to Heaven!

      Can you ever imagine that happening in countries in the West? People voting ONLY because of a fear of not being religious enough??? Unheard of, people vote for policies, schools, hospitals, jobs, economy…to better themselves in this life, not the next life!

      • Latifa /

        sounds like Melanie is a little bitter.

        When she says. “All I can say is, it is alright for somebody sat in their cosy armchair in England to vote in a party whose policies he didn’t even care to think about…he doesn’t have to live here…we do! ” She displays her disdain for the non-elite Tunisian masses who voted for the new coalition.

        Then she says “All I can see now amongst many people I know, is that they are putting their houses/apartments up for sale, and getting out of the country as quickly as they can! Hardly encouraging is it!” Is she implying most tunisians voted for a coalition and then are now selling their houses and moving. No. Again she is referring to a minority elite who hate the new government and are considering leaving. Well good riddance to bad rodents I say!

        She says “People voting ONLY because of a fear of not being religious enough?” Again what low regard she holds the tunisian people in it is quite sickening. Ennahda CPR and Ettakatol all had well thought out policy agendas does she really consider the masses so stupid. Oh I forget of course she does that was the old system of rule…a small atheistically inclined elite ramming their views down everyone elses throats.!

        BTW why has any link to this article been so quickly removed from the Tunisia Live website.

        • Melanie /

          Hi, Latifa, we know each other well don’t we! You ARE one of those cosy armchair voters from the UK. When you decide to live over here and not just pop into Sousse for a couple of weeks every now and then, you can discuss the topic with Tunisians who live and work over here. I wish I knew where to mix with these elite you keep talking about! Can you tell me?

      • Salah /

        I’m sorry Melanie but what do you expect from a Tunisian political party campaigning in Arabic? I mean, the elections are held in Tunisia and although a small elite prefers French the average Tunisian has Arabic as their mother tongue.

        Your response is so typical, especially cause you seem to align yourself with the PDP. They miserably lost. This story of “Tunisians selling their houses” is another one that only weakens parties such as PDP. Instilling fear by attacking Nahda and using strong terms such as “Ghannouchi is Tunisia’s Khomeiny” or “Tunisia will become Afghanistan now” only makes your own party weaker.

        It’s so funny actually. Almost all of Tunisia’s media is controlled by anti-Nahda figures which is very obvious. The whole country has been ruled for 60 years by a French educated secular elite highly opposed to ANY Islamic political party based on their dogma of LAICITE. Many high positions in Tunisian society are still held by these people obviously, such as the media. And still Nahda became the biggest political party. Isnt it time for some people to start asking themselves whether their ideas and dogmas might possibly not be shared by average Tunisian society as such? (this one is pointed to you as well Melanie). Instead of fear mongering, which obviously did not work and in my opinion will not work at next elections as well.

      • Tunisian /

        You are one stupid ignorant elitist. First of all, Nahdha’s manifesto was also in English I read it myself (since it was in english I assume it was also in French). Secondly please sell your house and go, trust me the Tunisian people will be more than happy. Thirdly, Nahdha is a political party but also is a social movement before it ever was a party. A social movement they do things for the community and they will not be stopping now.

        • Melanie /

          Tunisian…Are you aware that the percentage of foreign investment coming in to Tunisia, according to the Central Bank’s official figures, for the months of October, November and December (so far) is ZERO! 18% of people are unemployed and this will reach the million by the end of this month. Growth is also ZERO. Absolute misery everywhere! My Tunisian husband and myself were one of those who brought investment into this county (half a million pounds) and I am sure that the Tunisian people employed as a direct result of this, were more than happy! It appears that you are obviously not very well clued up on economics and about what makes the country tick! Let’s hope that with comments such as yours, other investors don’t get discouraged and go elsewhere…there are plenty more countries out there, they don’t have to put up with bigotted comments such as this! And at the end of the day, the social movement as you call it will not forever have a bottomless purse!

          • Tunisian /

            Ok I’ll skip the name calling and have a proper discussion about your original post. You say that Ennahdha did not have a manefisto in any other language. This is categorilly false and here’s the link: French: English: Now the fact that you can’t speak Arabic is not their fault. They have no requirement to have their campaigns in any language other than Arabic because that’s the language of the people of Tunisia. Regarding ennahdha’s finances, please provide evidence because you make your statement as if it’s a fact but you have nothing supporting it. There’s no evidence of ennahdha being financed by outside governments, if that’s what you mean by countries. If you mean people living in other countries well then I don’t see the problem with that. I live in the west and what is stopping me from sending money to ennahdha, I have the right to vote so why not the right to financially support. Regarding voting for the ‘party of god’; please provide any link to a NAHDHA member asking people to vote for them because they are the party of god. I am certain there are absolutely none. In none of their public announcements did they ever say we are the party of Islam. They do say however we have an Islamic reference. What’s wrong with that? What you don’t understand (and here’s the crux of Jen’s argument) that the secular press is what enforced the concept that voting for Ennahda is voting for Islam by continuously rubbishing Ennahda and accusing them of terrorism, backwardness and fundamentalism. For your average person (which unfortunately you do not seem to understand very well) anything the secular press says is bad means it’s good. This is primarily due to the lack of trust in the press. The PDP will turn Tunisia into a mini-Switzerland…lol…sorry but that’s just funny. I have no idea how you reached that conclusion so will just skip that point. Regarding leaving Tunisia; well unfortunately this is the part that pissed me of the most. You have an annoying level of discontent for the Tunisian people and a very condescending view of Tunisians. What you are saying is the Tunisian people are stupid and do not know how to choose and somehow they have been tricked. I understand how that might be the case when the difference is small. But unfortunately the parties you support got absolutely trounced. In most of the west people do sometimes vote out of fear so that’s hardly surprising. However Ennahdha never tried to scare people, if you remember it was the secular parties trying to scare people from Ennahdha. This is well documented in the media. Here’s a brief example Now to your points in the above comment; Yeah I do know the economy is stuffed but I don’t see how you and your friends taking your money is somehow going to help the economy. If you guys are really patriotic you should accept the will of the people and help strengthen the Tunisian economy. I hope you are not trying to say that the bad economy is a result of Ennahdha because that will be the biggest joke of the day. Ennahdha hasn’t even formed a government yet and somehow everything is their problem already. If anything it’s the secular parties that are trying to slow down the democratic process but I’ll leave that for another discussion.

            Hope to hear your reply soon

    8. Melanie /

      Salah, in answer to your first point, I was merely pointing out that what Jen had said about multiple languages was totally incorrect. We had the manifesto delivered to us as well as the Ennahdha team came round to our house to meet us. They even asked my husband to join their party!

      As I have been writing a website now that has been promoting Tunisia in earnest for over 6 years, I am hardly likely to enjoy hearing discouraging stories, BUT I have also worked in the immobilier industry for the same amount of time, so it is not simply rumours about people packing up and leaving.

      As far as the facts and figures are concerned, 7,562.244 Tunisian people were eligible to vote, of which 4,123.600 have registered to vote. Only 3,702.620 or 48.96% have actually cast their vote.

      Ennahdha’s share of the vote is 37% of the 3,702.620. This 37% represents a meagre 18.11% of the total number (7,562.244)of Tunisians of voting age. Therefore 63% of those who voted, voted against Ennahdha.

      If we consider the 51% who did not come out to vote, then Ennahdha’s predicament is even worse. This would mean that over 82% of Tunisians would not vote for them

      35% of those who voted, their votes went astray, (spread thinly over many parties therefore not producing a seat). In reality, Ennahdha’s win was based purely on this fact that there were so many opposition parties.

      I preferred to give you the facts and figures (although you probably know them already,) because you seemed to be able to answer me without a machine gun fire of insults because I happened to mention a few points that were not liked! This is democracy, being able to discuss without resorting to playground bully boy (or girl) behaviour. Ennahdha should expect to be criticised and scrutinised for everything that they say, think or do! Every political party in the world has to answer for every action that they take and yes this even resorts to scaremongering as well…it keeps them on their toes, and makes sure that they get on with the job that they are meant to do. To stand their and clap at everything they do without holding them to account, would be to return to the days of Ben Ali would it not?

      • Lutfiya /

        Dear Melanie, I know you are bitter but don’t be stupid as well. You can’t have it both ways and support democracy yet criticise it when you don’t like the result. As Churchill said it is the worst of all political systems except the others. The turnout in Tunisia was better than most European countries and the proportion that Ennhad took was larger than the ruling party in the UK in their most recent elections and the proportion the coalition took was far more than any governemnt in Europe and North America have taken in recent elections. So by democracies standards Ennahda and their partners had a resounding win. By your twisted logice what percent did the PDP or more atheistically inclined parties get. Why don’t you state that. It would be something like 0.00001% Ennahda garnered 3 times the votes of the second party. Thats a pretty convincing lead.

        Then you say “Every political party in the world has to answer for every action that they take and yes this even resorts to scaremongering as well…it keeps them on their toes.” So you are telling me you think scaremongering is a valid political tactic? Get a life!

        • Faith /

          Lutfiya, you don’t have to call someone stupid because you disagree with them. It sounds like you are the bitter one or maybe just not polite.

      • Salah /

        Dear Melanie,

        You probably live your life in a different environment than I do. The story of “Tunisians packing their bags” because Nahda won are exagerated. Of course, they are there. But not a significant amount that “poses a threat” or “braindain” to Tunisia as such. More important however is the fact that we have a coalition where TWO parties are secular and (centre) left.

        You are completely right about Tunisians voting and that Nahda does not represent the majority of them. Whereas a significant amount of Tunisians able to vote did not do so. If you mention that many of them would not vote for Nahda I would argue that at the next elections there are also Tunisians ready to vote Nahda whereas previous elections they did not. They did not out of fear, instilled by media and people around them warning them, or just because they were not sure if Nahda would be “to Islamic”. So far many Tunisians do not have a problem with Nahda perse and I think there is general feeling that it is a legitimate democracy party. Some parties are based on socialism, communism, liberalism and Nahda takes their core from Islam as such. Marzouki of CPR mentioned several times before as well that the “fear mongering” can be dangerous and Nahda is a respected democracy party.

        You said “Ennahdha should expect to be criticised and scrutinised for everything that they say, think or do!” Now if you would like to talk about what they say then show me prove of your earlier allegation that they claimed to be “the party of God”. Nahda politicians this is, or in one of their rallies. Or another HUGE allegation that Nahda “played on fear that not voting for them makes a Muslim AN INFIDEL”. You are right that Nahda, like any other party, should be criticised. But the fact is that some (extremely secular minded Tunisians) have a tendency to instill fear in people by allegations that are not based on what Nahda SAYS, but what they PERCEIVE to be their “real and hidden agenda”. And this goes back to the fact that Nahda contradicts their own dogma of laicite. And this is where it becomes cheeky. This is what happened in some media as well prior to the elections what Jenn mentioned as “bad press covering is still press covering, and people still get to know your party”.

        I have to say that I also remember now having seen Nahda’s program in English on their facebook.

      • Tunisian /

        Just out of curiosity, do you mind me asking were are you from Melanie? I know you say you live in Tunisia but are you originally from there? Just out of curiosity and to make the discussion more meaningful. No bad intentions or trying to prove a point.

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