Ennahda leader: Muslim statesman should not act as emperor

Rachid Ghannouchi, the leader of Tunisiaand’s Ennahda Party, has said the president of an Islamic state should not treat citizens as if he were an emperor.
Speaking at an event sponsored by the Independent Industrialists and Businessmen Association (ManduSiAD), in Istanbul, Ghannouchi noted the ideal characteristics of an Islamic leader. ManduSiAD is a pro-government business association.
and”He [the Islamic leader] should be modest by considering himself an ordinary person. This [principle] is included among the conditions set by Islam for [an ideal] state,and” Ghannouchi said at the event.
and”Everyone should be [viewed as] equal. One group should not spend [public] resources while others die of hunger. One group should not live in palaces while others stay in makeshift camps,and” he added.
The Tunisian politician went on to say that Islamic principles necessitate the people to be treated equally before justice in order for a state to be democratic and free.
and”As long as rich and poor are equally treated before justice, there is democracy and freedom in a country. Islam requires justice, freedom and equity. In an Islamic presidency, a state leader should not treat his people as [if he were an] emperor,and” said Ghannouchi.
Commenting on the repeat election held in Turkey on Nov. 1, he praised the conduct of the polls for being undertaken freely and fairly and added that President Recep Tayyip Erdogan differs from many dictators in the Middle East because he was voted into power via an election, in August 2014.
and”[Nov. 1] is also the day of Islam and democracy. It is significant for Turkey as well [as the] whole [Middle Eastern] regionandhellip When we compare President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to dictators who ruled [countries] in the Middle East, he differs due to the fact that he came to power [through an] election,and” said Ghannouchi.
The Justice and Development Party (AK Party), whose co-founders include Erdogan, won a landslide victory in the Nov. 1 election, receiving 49.5 percent of the vote, which helped the party form a single-party government and continue its rule that began in late 2002.
Despite Ghannushiand’s comments, most independent and international observers say the election took place in an environment of unfair competition.
andquotUnfortunately, the campaign for these elections was characterized by unfairness and, to a serious degree, fear,and” a representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said at a press conference in Ankara on Monday following the election.
Ghannouchiand’s remarks came amid growing public discontent and critical voices over Erdoganand’s luxurious palace, which contains 1,150 rooms, in Ankara.
Both the AK Party and Ennahda share the same ideological background and are seen as representatives of political Islam in their respective countries. While the AK Party thrust onto the political scene as a center-right party, most observers and critics say it has taken a swift turn to its Islamic roots in recent years.


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