Tunisian Islamist party says time to ‘bury’ democracy

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Tunisian women, members of the radical Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir, attend a speech at the party headquarters in the Tunis suburb of Ariana. (AFP)
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Tunisian women, members of the radical Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir, attend a speech at the party headquarters in the Tunis suburb of Ariana. (AFP)
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Tunisian women, members of the radical Islamist party Hizb ut-Tahrir, attend a speech at the party headquarters in the Tunis suburb of Ariana. (AFP)
Updated 16 April 2017
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Tunisian Islamist party says time to ‘bury’ democracy

TUNIS: The Tunisian branch of the radical Islamist Hizb ut-Tahrir movement, which calls for Islamic law and wants to unify Muslims into a caliphate, said Saturday it was time to “bury” democracy.
“Democracy no longer attracts anyone,” the movement’s politburo chief Abderraouf Amri told its annual conference.
“It is time to announce its death and work to bury it.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir is banned in several countries and Tunisian authorities regularly accuse it of “disturbing public order.”
Hundreds of party members took part in the congress near Tunis, praising “the caliphate, savior of humanity” and denouncing “persecution” by the democratic system.
It said it was the victim of “attempts to prohibit and hinder” its activities.
Mehdi Ben Gharbia, a minister overseeing relations with civil society, said he had filed a request earlier this month for a one-month suspension of the group’s activities over its “attacks against Tunisia’s republican system.”
Tunisia’s government in September asked a military court to outlaw the movement, created in the 1980s but only legalized in 2012 following the overthrow the previous year of longtime strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub has called the group “a party that does not recognize the civilian character of the state.”
Hizb ut-Tahrir’s 2016 Tunisian conference was banned for “security reasons.”
Tunisia has been in a state of emergency since a deadly 2015 jihadist attack against presidential guards.


Berlin backs Macron’s Iran plan

In our view this agreement should be maintained, Merkel said. (AFP)
Updated 3 min 3 sec ago
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Berlin backs Macron’s Iran plan

  • Merkel will discuss Iran with Trump on a visit on Friday
  • Macron acknowledged that he does not know what Trump will decide

BERLIN, PARIS: Proposals presented by French President Emmanuel Macron on Iran’s nuclear deal are based on the existing international agreement but would add some new elements, a senior German official said on Thursday.

Speaking before Chancellor Angela Merkel heads to Washington for talks with US President Donald Trump, the official said: “The premise of Macron’s proposal is that the agreement remains in its existing form and additional elements come on top.” The official added: “In our view this agreement should be maintained.”

Trump has said he is not happy with the 2015 accord and may pull out of it. 

Iran’s President Hasan Rouhani insisted the deal cannot be changed or built on. 

The plan announced during Macron’s trip is part of European efforts to persuade Trump not to abandon the accord next month.

Merkel will discuss Iran with Trump on a visit on Friday.

The French president has meanwhile defended discussions with Trump for a new plan to curb Iranian nuclear weapons. Speaking to reporters before leaving Washington on Wednesday night, Macron said the new four-pronged agreement would be a “very important complement” to the existing 2015 accord.

Macron insisted on the importance of talking to all sides, including Iran ally Russia, and said the world should not force anything on Iran. He acknowledged that he does not know what Trump will decide.