Tunisians Cheer Islamist Leader Upon Returning From Exile
Thousands of people arrived at the Tunis international airport to cheer Rachid Ghannouchi, the Islamist leader who returned from exile, thus marking a new stage of the route toward democracy of the country that set a trend which is now followed by many countries in North Africa and in other Arab countries.
He has been living in London since 1991, when his Renaissance movement emerged as the strongest opposition party in the country after the parliamentary elections in 1989, with 14 percent overall, and 30 percent in the urban areas.
The success determined Ben Ali to crack down on the movement, which was not legalized and had its candidates run as independent.
One of the executive leaders of Renaissance movement said the movement would ask for the legal recognition on Monday and then would hold a congress.
The representatives of the movement announced that they met twice with the national unity government.
When asked if the transitional government should continue in office, he said that this is a decision the people must make.
Some are worried that the way the Islamist movement was received in Tunisia upon returning from exile is an indication that the country could walk away to some extent from its lay state imposed by the former regime.11