Hamadi Jebali

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Hamadi Jebali
حمادي الجبالي
Hamadi Jebali - World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2012-1.jpg
Prime Minister of Tunisia
In office
24 December 2011 – 14 March 2013
President Moncef Marzouki
Preceded by Beji Caid el Sebsi
Succeeded by Ali Laarayedh
Secretary General of the Ennahda Movement
In office
6 June 1981 – 22 February 2013
Leader Rashid al-Ghannushi
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Ali Laarayedh
Personal details
Born (1949-01-12) 12 January 1949 (age 65)
Sousse, Tunisia
Political party Ennahda Movement
Alma mater Tunis University
University of Paris
Religion Islam

Hamadi Jebali (Arabic: حمادي الجبالي‎, Ḥammādī al-Jibālī; born 12 January 1949) is a Tunisian engineer, Islamist politician and journalist who was Prime Minister of Tunisia from December 2011 to March 2013. He is the Secretary-General of the Ennahda Movement, a moderate Islamist party in Tunisia.

Early life, education and professional life[edit]

Born in Sousse in 1949,Jebali received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the Tunis University and added a masters programme in photovoltaic engineering in Paris, France.[1][2] As a specialist in solar energy and wind power, he founded his own enterprise in Sousse.[3]

Political and journalistic activity[edit]

In 1981 he became involved with Tunisia's Islamist movement, then called Movement of the Islamic Tendency. He was director and editor-in-chief of Al-Fajr (Dawn), the former weekly newspaper of the Islamist Ennahda Party.[2] Moreover he served as longtime member of the party's executive council and remains secretary-general of Ennahda.[1][4]

Criminal prosecution and imprisonment[edit]

In June 1990, Al-Fajr published an article by Rashid al-Ghannushi called "The people of the State or the State of the People?" Jebali was made responsible for the publication and received a suspended sentence and a 1,500 dinars fine for the offences of "encouraging violation of the law" and "calling for insurrection". In November 1990, the Islamist newspaper contained an essay by the lawyer Mohammed Nouri, entitled "When will military courts, serving as special courts, be abolished?" This time, a military court sentenced Hamadi Jebali to one year in prison for "defamation of a judicial institution".[1][4]

In May 1992 the government claimed that it had detected plans for a coup d'état by Ennahda, which had allegedly plotted to kill President Ben Ali and establish an Islamic state. In August 1992, Jebali, along with 170 other sympathisers of Ennahda, was charged with "attempted overthrow". Jebali protested that he had no knowledge of the plot's existence, and asserted that he had been tortured, presenting marks on his body for evidence. The trial was classified as unfair by observers for Human Rights Watch, the Lawyer's Committee for Human Rights, and Amnesty International, the latter of which named Jebali a prisoner of conscience.[5] Eventually, on 28 August 1992 Hamadi Jebali was sentenced to a prison term of 16 years for "membership in an illegal organisation" and "attempted change of the nature of the state".[4] The Court of Cassation confirmed the verdict.[1]

The conditions of his imprisonment were harsh. More than ten of the 15 years that Jebali spent, were in solitary confinement. Hamadi Jebali engaged in several hunger strikes to protest against the conditions and his conviction. Two of them lasted for 36 days each. In February 2006, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Tunisia's independence, Jebali was conditionally released.[1]

Post-revolution and Prime Minister[edit]

Following the Tunisian revolution in January 2011, Ennahda was legalised. Since then, Hamadi Jebali has been present in public as the party's secretary-general and spokesman. In May 2011, he traveled to Washington, D.C., on the invitation of the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy.[6] He also met U.S. Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman.[7]

Ensuing Ennahda's success in the Constituent Assembly election on 23 October 2011, the party nominated him as its candidate for prime minister.[4][8] Jebali is considered a proponent of the reformist wing of his party.[4]

Interim President Moncef Marzouki appointed Jebali as Prime Minister of Tunisia on 14 December 2011.[9] He presented his government on 20 December.[10] He officially took office on 24 December.[citation needed]

On 19 February 2013, he resigned his office.[11] The move followed his attempt to form a technocratic government following the assassination of Chokri Belaid and ensuing protests against the alleged Islamisation of the country. Ennahda, however, rejected his resignation insisting on a government of politicians and Jebali formally resigned after a meeting with President Moncef Marzouki saying it was in the best interests of the country. He said: "I promised if my initiative did not succeed I would resign as head of the government, and this is what I am doing following my meeting with the president. Today there is a great disappointment among the people and we must regain their trust and this resignation is a first step."[12] Party leader Rachid Ghannouchi then suggested a government of politicians and technocrats, while Jebali suggested that if he was tasked with forming a new government it would have to include non-partisan ministers and a variety of political representation that would lead to a new election.[12] Unnamed opposition figures welcomed the resignation. The same day, Standard & Poor downgraded Tunisia's credit rating.[13] However, the IMF said that it was still in talks for a US$1.78 billion loan to the country.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Case Information: Hamadi Jebali, Committee on Human Rights, nationalacademies.org. Retrieved on 26 October 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Man on a Wire". The Majalla 1571: 45. March 2012. Retrieved 4 April 2013. 
  3. ^ Barrouhi, Abdelaziz (13 May 2011), "Hamadi Jebali: "Nous ne prétendons pas être les détenteurs de la vérité en Tunisie"", Jeune Afrique (in French), retrieved 27 October 2011 
  4. ^ a b c d e Feuillatre, Cecile (26 October 2011), "Hamadi Jebali: The face of moderate Islamism in Tunisia", National Post, retrieved 26 October 2011 
  5. ^ "Further information on Tunisia: Imprisonment of a Journalist". Amnesty International. February 1991. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy Holds a Discussion on "What Kind of Democracy for the New Tunisia: Islamic or Secular?"". BNET CBS Business Network. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 21 June 2011. 
  7. ^ Washington ready to play soft Islam card, Maghreb Confidential, 26 May 2011, retrieved 21 June 2011 
  8. ^ Toumi, Habib (26 October 2011), "Al Nahdha likely to front its secretary general as prime minister", Gulf News, retrieved 26 October 2011 
  9. ^ Mzioudet, Houda (14 December 2011), "Ennahda’s Jebali Appointed as Tunisian Prime Minister", Tunisia-live.net, retrieved 21 December 2011 
  10. ^ "Tunisian PM presents new government". Google News. Agence France-Presse. 20 December 2011. Archived from the original on 4 November 2012. Retrieved 4 November 2012. 
  11. ^ "Tunisia: Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali resigns after the failure of his firm apolitical". lexmpress. Retrieved 19 February 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Tunisia PM resigns after cabinet initiative fails to form a technocratic government". India Today. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  13. ^ Angelique Chrisafis and agencies (20 February 2013). "Tunisian PM resigns sparking credit rating downgrade". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
  14. ^ "IMF says still in touch with Tunisia on loan". Reuters. 20 February 2013. Retrieved 20 February 2013. 
Party political offices
New political party Secretary General of the Ennahda Movement
1981–2013
Succeeded by
Ali Laarayedh
Political offices
Preceded by
Beji Caid el Sebsi
Prime Minister of Tunisia
2011–2013
Succeeded by
Ali Laarayedh