MOSCOW, October 24 (Itar-Tass) - Russia’s presidential envoy for African affairs, Mikhail Margelov, sees a possibility the Egyptian scenario may have a re-run in another North African country, Tunisia.
“In either country the Islamists spearheaded secular opposition protests to come to power via elections. In either case the Islamists embarked on a policy of building a theocratic state in defiance of the political, social and economic (in other words, purely secular) goals of the Arab Spring,” Margelov, the head of the Federation Council’s foreign affairs committee, told journalists on Thursday in view of the latest events in Tunisia.
Margelov said that in that country “only civilians have been protesting so far, but the army is also hardly enthusiastic about the Islamist regime of the Ennahda Movement”.
“Therefore, it is hard to predict how the forthcoming talks between the ruling Islamists and the Opposition negotiations will conclude. In any case, a replay of the Egypt scenario should not be excluded here,” Margelov believes.
He also pointed out the events in Egypt and Tunisia “are refuting the quite common view shared by many experts the latest revolutions in the Arab world inevitably lead to theocracy.”
Tunisia’s PM Ali Laarayedh previously said the government was ready to resign in order to comply with the road map to steer the country out of the political crisis, but at the same time he made no firm promises. In the meantime, such a measure is the Opposition’s main condition for starting a national dialogue. According to the road map, within a month after the dialogue has begun the two sides are to establish a government of non-partisan technocrats. A new constitution is to be adopted and the date of re-elections is to be announced within this period as well.
The situation in Tunisia remains tense. Laarayedh has confirmed in a statement that six national guards were killed in a clash with an armed militant group in Sidi Bouzid province in the centre of Tunisia.
Besides, on Wednesday several opposition supporters gathered for an anti-government protest in Tunis’s central avenue Habib Bourguiba. Another protest demonstration took place in Kasbah Square near the government headquarters.