Ex-Tunisia leader says 'pressures' stop TV appearance

Tunisia’s first freely elected president attributes TV channel’s decision not to air interview to ‘political pressures’

Ex-Tunisia leader says 'pressures' stop TV appearance

World Bulletin / News Desk

Moncef al-Marzouki, former president of Tunisia and leader of the Harak Tounes al-Irada party, has criticized a private television channel’s decision not to broadcast an interview recently conducted with him.

On his official Facebook page, al-Marzouki said the broadcast of the interview -- conducted last Saturday by Tunisia’s Channel 9 -- had been blocked due to "political pressures".

"I can’t believe they can stop a former president of the republic from expressing his opinion on the problems facing the country," he said.

Tunisia, he added, is "theoretically ruled by a democratic system of governance brought about by a peaceful revolution that overthrew a tyrannical regime known for suppressing freedoms of opinion".

Al-Marzouki went on to attribute the channel’s decision to "multiple sources of pressure", although he did not elaborate as to who -- or what -- these "sources of pressure" were.

On Thursday, however, Harak Tounes al-Irada Secretary-General Adnan Mansar asserted: "Carthage [the presidency] and the Kasbah [the prime ministry] have both exerted pressures… with a view to preventing Dr. al-Marzouki from appearing in the media".

Also speaking via Facebook, Mansar added: "They are targeting media freedoms with a view to concealing their failures."

Until now, both the Tunisian government and Channel 9 have refrained from commenting on the issue.

Late last month, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi -- amid considerable fanfare -- signed a "Declaration on Media Freedom in the Arab World", which emphasized the importance of media freedom and an independent press.

Born in 1945, al-Marzouki became Tunisia’s first-ever democratically elected president following a popular uprising in late 2010 that ended the decades-long regime of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Al-Marzouki was narrowly defeated by Essebsi in presidential elections held in 2014.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 15 Eylül 2016, 17:29