Moncef Marzouki

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Mohamed Moncef Marzouki
المنصف المرزوقي
Moncef Marzouki2.jpg
President of Tunisia
Interim
Incumbent
Assumed office
13 December 2011
Prime Minister Beji Caid el Sebsi
Hamadi Jebali
Ali Laarayedh
Mehdi Jomaa
Preceded by Fouad Mebazaa (Acting)
Leader of the Congress for the Republic
In office
24 July 2001 – 13 December 2011
Deputy Abderraouf Ayadi
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Abderraouf Ayadi
Personal details
Born (1945-07-07) 7 July 1945 (age 69)
Grombalia, Tunisia
Political party Congress for the Republic
Spouse(s) Beatrix Rhein
Children 2
Residence Carthage Palace (Official)
Alma mater University of Strasbourg
Religion Sunni Islam
Website Official website

Mohamed Moncef Marzouki (Arabic: محمدالمنصف المرزوقي‎, Muhammad al-Munṣif al-Marzūqī, born 7 July 1945) is interim President of Tunisia.[1][2][3] Through his career he has been a human rights activist, physician and politician. On 12 December 2011, he was elected interim President of Tunisia by the Constituent Assembly.

Early life[edit]

Born Grombalia, Tunisia, Marzouki was the son of a Qadi. His father, being a supporter of Salah Ben Youssef (Bourguiba's opponent), would emigrate to Morocco in the late 1950s because of political pressures.[4] Marzouki finished his secondary education in Tangier, where he obtained the Baccalauréat in 1961.[4] He then went to study medicine at the University of Strasbourg in France. Returning to Tunisia in 1979, he founded the Center for Community Medicine in Sousse and the African Network for Prevention of Child Abuse, also joining Tunisian League for Human Rights.[5] In his youth, he had travelled to India to study Mahatma Gandhi's non-violent resistance.[6] Later, he also travelled to South Africa to study its transition from apartheid.[7]

Political career[edit]

When the government cracked down violently on the Islamist Ennahda Movement in 1991, Marzouki confronted Tunisian President Ben Ali calling on him to adhere to the law.[7] In 1993, Marzouki was a founding member of the National Committee for the Defense of Prisoners of Conscience, but he resigned after it was taken over by supporters of the government. He was arrested on several occasions on charges relating to the propagation of false news and working with banned Islamist groups. He subsequently founded the National Committee for Liberties. He became President[5] of the Arab Commission for Human Rights and as of 17 January 2011 continues as a member of its Executive Board.[8]

In 2001, he founded the Congress for the Republic.[9][10] This political party was banned in 2002, but Marzouki moved to France and continued running it.[5]

Following President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's departure from Tunisia and the Tunisian revolution, Marzouki announced his return to Tunisia and his intention to run for the presidency.[5]

Interim president[edit]

On 12 December 2011, the Constituent Assembly of Tunisia, a body elected to govern the country and draft a new constitution, elected Marzouki as the interim President of the Tunisian Republic, with 155 votes for, 3 against, and 42 blank votes.[11][12] Blank votes were the result of a boycott from the opposition parties, who considered the new mini-constitution of the country an undemocratic one.

On 14 December, one day after his accession to office, he appointed Hamadi Jebali of the moderate Islamist Ennahda Movement as Prime Minister.[13] Jebali presented his government on 20 December.[14]

On 3 May 2012, Nessma TV owner Nabil Karoui and two others were convicted of "blasphemy" and "disturbing public order". The charges stemmed from the network's decision to broadcast a dubbed version of the 2007 Franco-Iranian film Persepolis, which includes several visual depictions of God. Karoui was fined 2,400 dinars for the broadcast, while the station's programming director and the president of the women's organization which provided dubbing for the film were fined 1,200 dinars.[15] Responding to the verdict, Marzouki stated to members of the press in the presidential palace in Tunis, "I think this verdict is bad for the image of Tunisia. Now people in the rest of the world will only be talking about this when they talk about Tunisia."[16]

In March 2014 President Marzouki lifted the state of emergency that has been in place since the outbreak of a popular revolution three years ago, and a top military chief said soldiers stationed in some of the country’s most sensitive areas will return to their barracks. The decree from President Marzouki said the state of emergency ordered in January 2011 is lifted across the country immediately. The state of emergency was imposed by longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and maintained after he was overthrown. It was repeatedly renewed.[17]

In April 2014, he cut his pay by two-thirds, citing the state's need to be a model in dealing with the deteriorating financial situation.[18]

Personal life[edit]

From a first marriage, Moncef Marzouki has two daughters: Myriam and Nadia. In December 2011, during a private civil ceremony in Carthage Palace, he married Beatrix Rhein, a French physician.[19]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Veteran human rights activist chosen as Tunisia's new interim president, The Telegraph, 15 November 2011 
  2. ^ Tunisian activist to serve as interim president, CBC News, 12 December 2011 
  3. ^ Jacobs, Donna (5 April 2013), Tunisia’s bold gamble on democracy: ‘One day or another, we will win’, Diplomat & International Canada 
  4. ^ a b "Marzouki se fait allumer en Algérie". Maghreb Intelligence. 8 February 2012. Retrieved 15 May 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Moncef Marzouki declares presidential candidacy". Al Arabiya. 16 January 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2011-01-16. 
  6. ^ "Marzouki: Tunisia’s opposition stalwart turned president". English.alarabiya.net. 2011-12-13. Retrieved 2012-04-11. 
  7. ^ a b Coll, Steve. "The Casbah Coalition. Tunisia's second revolution", The New Yorker, 4 April 2011. retrieved on April 30, 2011.
  8. ^ "What is the Arab Commission for Human Rights". 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  9. ^ "Déclaration constitutive". Congress for the Republic. 2001-07-24. Archived from the original on 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  10. ^ "Première liste des membres fondateurs du CPR". Congress for the Republic. Archived from the original on 2011-01-17. Retrieved 2011-01-17. 
  11. ^ "Tunisia’s assembly elects human rights activist as interim president". Washington Post. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2011-12-12. [dead link]
  12. ^ "Tunisian activist, Moncef Marzouki, named president". BBC News. 2011-12-12. Retrieved 2011-12-12. 
  13. ^ Mzioudet, Houda (14 December 2011), Ennahda’s Jebali Appointed as Tunisian Prime Minister, Tunisia-live.net, retrieved 21 December 2011 
  14. ^ Tunisian PM presents new government, AFP, 20 December, retrieved 21 December 2011  Check date values in: |date= (help)
  15. ^ http://www.tunisia-live.net/2012/05/03/owner-of-nessma-tv-fined-2400-dinars-in-persepolis-trial/
  16. ^ Time. 3 May 2012 http://globalspin.blogs.time.com/2012/05/03/controversial-tunisian-court-ruling-reflects-dilemmas-of-the-arab-spring/ |url= missing title (help). 
  17. ^ [1]
  18. ^ http://www.aljazeera.com/news/middleeast/2014/04/tunisian-president-cuts-own-pay-two-thirds-2014418133335471788.html
  19. ^ Nawaat. 3 April 2013 http://nawaat.org/portail/2013/04/03/la-nouvelle-premiere-dame-de-tunisie-pourquoi-tant-de-mystere/ |url= missing title (help). 

External links[edit]

Party political offices
New office Leader of the Congress for the Republic
2001–2011
Succeeded by
Abderraouf Ayadi
Political offices
Preceded by
Fouad Mebazaa
Acting
President of Tunisia
2011–present
Incumbent