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RCD has to go, this is revolution, says Tunisian opposition leader

media Moncef Marzouki lors d'une manifestation à Sidibouzid en janvier 2011 Reuters

“This is not revolt, this is revolution,” Moncef Marzouki, veteran Tunisian left-wing opposition leader, told RFI on Thursday. Democratisation in Tunisia cannot take place without the Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party of ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali being disbanded, Marzouki says.

“Can you imagine that the Communist Party after the fall of the [Berlin] Wall would be the party leading the democratisation? This is completely unacceptable,” Marzouki, head of the Congress of the Republic party (CPR), comments.

Q&A - Moncef Marzouki 20/01/2011 - by Alexandra Brangeon Listen

“We want the dissolution of the RCD, the party of Ben Ali, then a new government, a government of national unity,” he says, “a real one leading the process of democratisation.”

Marzouki, who spent years in exile in France before returning to Tunisia on Tuesday, said members of the RCD “pretend to be our government” yet “they supported the dictatorship until the end”.

Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi has “no legitimacy and no credibility” Marzouki says, “he has to go”. He says that Ghannouchi kept in touch with Ben Ali even after his departure to Saudi Arabia “while the snipers of Ben Ali were killing our people”.

The 65-year-old doctor who studied in Morocco and France wants the interim government to “nominate a neutral personality of civil society as the head of a real unity government”.

“We want the abolition of the constitution, which is the constitution of the

Dossier: Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution

dictatorship, and we want free elections, but not under the control of the RCD, because the Minister of Interior is the same as under Ben Ali and this is completely unacceptable.”

Marzouki’s CPR is a secular, left-wing party, founded in 2001 to lobby for a republic that respects the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

The CPR was banned in 2002. But, with his return to Tunisia following the Jasmine Revolution, Marzouki has announced his intention to stand in presidential elections.

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