Halting revolutions in the Arab world is impossible and nations transitioning to democracy will experience fluctuations for decades, said Rached Ghannouchi, head of the Tunisian Ennahda Movement.
In his keynote speech on the second day of the 10th Al Jazeera Forum held in Doha, Ghannouchi said that the Tunisia’s success was due to broad “consensus.”
Despite challenges and differences, agreements between Islamists and secularists led to the drafting of the Tunisian constitution.
He explained that governing in transition phases requires high degrees of agreement, not just a majority of 51%.
The Ennahda Movement, he said, set an unprecedented example in the region by adhering to the success of democracy without clinging to authority.
“What matters is not the difficult transitional phase, but the completion of the democratic project, which is still under threat despite all these successes,” he said.
Tunisia’s success proves that democracy is possible in the Arab world, and that there is no conflict between Islam and democracy, he added, explaining that a “reconciliatory” approach between parties with polarized views was key.
Replying to a question about Egypt, Ghannouchi said that there are clear differences between the two countries.
“The situation in Egypt is more complex, as the country is ruled by the army, a key component of the Egyptian state that must be part of the equation of governance,” he said. “It is incorrect to say that the Muslim Brotherhood should have struck its opponents, because transitional rule requires reaching agreement and making major concessions, which the Ennahda Movement did to reach a constitution approved by 94% of the Tunisian people.”