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Statement by Mr. Mustapha Ben Jaafar, Secretary-General of FDTL

Published the:  15/01/2011

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Mr. Mustapha Ben Jaafar, Secretary-General of the Democratic Front for Labor and Freedoms (FDTL) underlined in a statement after his participation in the ongoing consultations to overcome the current situation in the country and the future political reforms that "our real concern today is to bring the country out of the serious crisis it faces and move to democratic construction."
He pointed out that the consultations held, on Saturday January 15, 2011, by the Prime Minister in Kasbah with all political parties and all social partners "are still underway," adding that though he belongs to the former team, Mr. Mohamed Ghannouchi is a figure worthy of respect, a personality well known for his integrity, since he had never been involved in suspicious affairs."
He said that: "Mr. Mohamed Ghannouchi has a respectable image abroad and that his skill in the economic field is recognized," expressing confidence in the sincere and patriotic tone he noted with the prime minister during the two talks he had held with him.
He pointed to the popular masses and more particularly youth who took to the streets and made sacrifices that might have been avoided, underlining that those youth rose up unarmed to change the political regime which was marked by the monopoly and mixing the political body and the organ of the State, referring to the Constitutional Democratic Rally.
Mr. Ben Jaafar underlined that emphasis was placed on all these issues today so that there would not be circumvention of this quiet revolution that sprang from spontaneous popular movements, away from behest of an political party.
He indicated that people took to the street because injustice reached an intolerable level, particularly in some known social aspects, such as unemployment and decline of purchasing power of large segments of the Tunisian society.
He added that for all these reasons, the question raised today for a deep reflection should be treated as fundamental political problem that implies a revision of the entire political system on the basis of the Constitution and laws in matters of freedom, such as the Electoral Code and the Press Code.
He said this approach will help rebuild today's Tunisia rich of its youth and its energy as well as highly qualified scientific skills, lawyers and freedom-lovers journalists.
He also pointed to the previous elections which, he said, had not reflected the true will of the Tunisian people and youth. He noted that Tunisia goes through a major historical turning point that involves participation of all without exclusion so that Tunisia be for every one.
He underlined that the demands of FDTL emanate from this position, particularly general amnesty, recognition of all parties having deposited their applications and releasing prisoners, underlining that no party should monopolize the opinion and that it is no longer allowed to carry out the instructions of only one person under pretext that he is infallible.
He added:" some failures and shortcomings might take place, since no body knows the absolute truth and that any one pretending to possess it means he prepares despotism."
He voiced satisfaction at the positive adherence of the prime minister to the demands of the Front, particularly the creation of a national authority of reform to be chaired by an independent and credible figure and whose integrity is unquestionable and in which will participate parties and civil society forces, in addition to forming a national coalition government, pointing out that dialogue and discussions have started on this proposal.
He expressed commitment to effective pluralism at the level of parties, associations or trade unions, pointing out that a meeting will be held very soon with Mr. Mohamed Ghannouchi as part of ongoing consultations with all concerned sides.
He said the message is clear and this is indeed a definite break with the old regime, underlining the need to convey this message to the valiant people who took to the street peacefully and changed clear slogans.
He stressed the need that this message be conveyed clearly without altering its content so that persons who made sacrifices would not feel that this noble revolution which honors Tunisia will be circumvented.
Mr. Ben Jaafar concluded:" it will also be a message to the entire Arab world to say that fear is finally defeated and to the Western world which was a mere viewer and supported these regimes telling it to abandon the role of firefighter, this Western world that remembers democracy only when everything ends".