Rashid Ghannouchi, the "master" of the Islamic movement in Tunisia, and the leader of his anti-secular movement since the 1960s, faced with the terms of life imprisonment, exile and even the execution demanded by former President Habib Bourguiba.
The coup d'état of the late Tunisian president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali on November 7, 1987, saved him from execution, which gave the man a chance to gain his freedom.He was released on May 14, 1988.
At the beginning of 1989, he applied for a legal license to the Islamic Trend Movement, which was the nucleus of Ennahda later, but his application was rejected, and his relationship with the Zine El Abidine regime worsened.
He left Tunisia on April 11, 1989, for Algeria, after being sentenced to life imprisonment by the military court and other leaders for “conspiracy” against the head of state, then moved to Sudan and then to the UK.
He became president of Ennahdha in 1991, after settling in Acton on the outskirts of London, where he was granted political asylum in August 1993.
He was re-elected president of Ennahdha in 2007.After 21 years in exile, he returned to Tunisia on January 30, 2011, after the Tunisian uprising and the fall of Ben Ali.
Described as a good reader of local and international political realities, he has the sense of predicting risks before they occur, always adjusting or developing his political and intellectual thesis in order to preserve his project, without collision or fatal clash with those who always want to drag him into the confrontation.
Maker of Kings
After Ennahda won the October 23rd, 2011 elections out of 217 seats in the Constituent Assembly, he refused to run or run for office, but contributed to his relations and dialogues with various Tunisian political parties in resolving some complex political and intellectual problems that almost confused Transitional phase.
In the October 2014 legislative elections, Ennahda came second, behind Nidaa Tounes, led by the late President Beji Kaid Essebsi, and took the lead in the political scene.
Observers believe that Ghannouchi's appreciation of the national interest, which led him after the 2014 elections for the alliance with Baji, despite considerable opposition from within his party and from outside, and considered that without this alliance, Tunisia would not have reached municipal elections in 2018 and general and presidential elections this year.
Between two presidencies
The victory of Ennahdha in the first legislative elections in a parliamentary bloc of 52 deputies, by virtue of the Constitution, gave the prime minister an opportunity to form and form a government. This victory also gives her a comfortable position in negotiating the presidency of parliament, which Ghannouchi was nominated this time.
Several questions have been raised about the significance of Ghannouchi's candidacy this time for the presidency of parliament, while rejecting all positions in the past, and only to play the role of kingmaker.
Here, political analyst Habib Bouajila believes that Ghannouchi has invested well in the Tunisian mood towards compromise. Thanks to his role in the national consensus, he managed to protect his movement and market the consensus as evidence that political Islam can successfully engage in democracy.
As is well known, the 2019 elections produced a parliamentary parity between the components of the old system, and those affiliated with the revolution, so every step to produce political leadership of the stage will go through very harsh negotiating processes, which may render the rights vested in the constitution meaningless.
Ghannouchi's opponents - who are also the opponents of his party and his program - argue that the national interest requires that Ennahda give up its election rights, and that Ghannouchi might disappear from the political scene in the name of national interest, under the pretext of external pressure, "a position of blackmail that lacks legal and constitutional logic." As the writer Nur al-Din al-Alawi points out.
Alaoui adds in an article that this situation must end, and Ghannouchi can end it, because his presence in the prime minister or in parliament carries a dose of challenge required nationally, and where the dedication of the national sovereignty of the electoral fund, it is the only rule among Tunisians, and no income of any foreign power In determining who rules and who opposes.
Those close to Ennahdha believe that, amid a complex political equation, she will be content with the presidency of parliament.