Following are excerpt
from an interview with Moncef Marzouki, leader of the "Congress
for the Republic" Tunisian opposition party, who recently returned
to Tunisia from his place of exile in France. The interview aired on
Al-Arabiya TV on January 24, 2011.
There is a famous saying by the philosopher Hannah Arendt, who said
that in a dictatorship, everything is fine until the last 15 minutes.
Until this dictator [Ben Ali] carried out his coup on November 6, ,
the press sang the praises of Bourguiba and his achievements, the streets
were calm, and everything seemed calm. Then Bourguiba's regime suddenly
collapsed. The same happened to [Ben Ali].
Why? Because the ingenuity
of dictatorships is in lying. It conceals the truth and conceals reality.
It lies about the economy, saying that it is in an excellent state.
It lies about liberties, saying that the people are happy. It lies about
the boiling anger.
This lying is what dictatorships
do best. Dictatorships are built upon oppression, plunder, autocracy,
and lying. But beyond that beautiful image, one can see that the people
oppose the regime, the economy is on the brink of collapse, because
this dictatorship is corrupt and corruption eats away at economies.
These people tried to
hide what was happening within the house, painting the walls in bright
colors, while its foundations were disintegrating day by day, until
suddenly, the roof collapsed, taking the dictatorship with it.
The Tunisians are still
protesting because they do not understand or accept that the prime minister
who was appointed by the dictator will be leading the democratic process.
For the people, this is illogical.
they promised that this would be a provisional government, and they
have presented guarantees. Are these guarantees insufficient for you?
On the night the dictator fled, he said: I am ready to give you whatever
you want – all the liberties and complete democracy. However, there
is a lack of trust. We do not trust people who have lied to us all along.
guarantees are you demanding?
We will only accept guarantees from people with a proven democratic
record, who have not collaborated with the dictatorship. With all due
respect to Muhammad Al-Ghannouchi, he was appointed president by the
dictator. He himself admitted that he passed information to the dictator,
while his snipers were killing Tunisians.