News / Africa

French, Tunisian Leaders Express Dismay Over Morsi Ouster

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki , right, addresses reporters during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande, left, Carthage, Tunisia, July 4, 2013.Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki , right, addresses reporters during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande, left, Carthage, Tunisia, July 4, 2013.
x
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki , right, addresses reporters during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande, left, Carthage, Tunisia, July 4, 2013.
Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki , right, addresses reporters during a joint press conference with French President Francois Hollande, left, Carthage, Tunisia, July 4, 2013.
Lisa Bryant
— French President Francois Hollande and Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki are expressing alarm at the ouster of Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi.
 
At a joint press conference Thursday in Tunis, Hollande described the unfolding crisis in Egypt as a "failure" for the country's democratic transition, while Marzouki expressed regret at the intervention of armed forces.
 
Their remarks echoed concerns expressed around the world after the militarily-backed removal of the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood leader.
 
Hollande's visit is the first by a sitting French president since Tunisia's 2011 revolution, the popular revolt that inspired similar uprisings across the Arab world, starting with Egypt. He called on Egyptian army officials to organize free, pluralistic and fair elections as soon as possible.
 
Both presidents dismissed the idea that Egypt's crisis could spread to Tunisia.
 
"Unlike Egypt," Marzouki said, "Tunisia is not split into warring parties. Tunisia's government aims to be inclusive, and there is dialogue among parties."
 
Like Egypt, Tunisia's transition to democracy has been bumpy and marred by social protests and concerns over free-speech. Also like Egypt, Tunisia's government is dominated by Islamists -- notably the moderate Ennahda party.
 
Marzouki, member of a secular party in the coalition government, added that Tunisians know the roadmap ahead, referring to a new constitution and elections slated to be held by year's end.
 
Analysts weigh in

Amna Guellali of Human Rights Watch says the Muslim Brotherhood's abrupt fall in Egypt may impact Tunisian politics.
 
"We didn't have, as in Egypt, a kind of autocratic turn after the elections," said the Tunis-based researcher. "It's not the same scenario really, but still I think it will have quite an impact on Ennahda's dealings with the opposition, and also the constitution drafting ... especially when it comes to the definition of the position of Islam in the new constitution, and how this affects rights and freedoms."
 
For political science professor and Tunisia observer Steven Ekovich, Tunis's Ennahda is markedly different from Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood.
 
"The big difference between Egypt and Tunisia is that, all along now, Ennahda has been compromising," he said. "Morsi was not compromising."
 
Egypt's armed forces, he added, has long been a powerful, national player with entrenched economic interests, which poses another key difference when compared to Tunisia.
 
"Tunisians have a lot of trust in their army, and they know their army is independent," he said, calling it historically absent from the national political scene. "Tunisians not only trust their army, I could almost say they love their army."
 
Hollande's visit comes as Tunisia faces deep economic problems. Unemployment is high and its key tourism sector is struggling.
 
The French president signed a number of cooperation agreements, and vowed France would be at Tunisia's side.

You May Like

Reports of Mass Murder on Mediterranean Smuggler’s Boat

Boat sailed from Libya with 750 migrants aboard and arrived in Italy with 569 More

Video New Thailand Hotline Targets Misbehaving Monks

Officials say move aims to restore country’s image of Buddhism, tarnished by recent high profile scandals such as opulent lifestyle, drug and alcohol abuse, as well as child sex abuse More

Study: Dust from Sahara Helped Form Bahama Islands

What does the Sahara have in common with a Caribbean island? Quite a lot, researchers say More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Astronauts Train in Underwater Labi
X
George Putic
July 25, 2014 7:25 PM
In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid