Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Arab counter-revolution funds An-Nahda

"“Everybody says that Ennahda is backed by money from the Arabian gulf,” said Ahmed Ibrahim, the founder of the liberal Democratic Modernist Pole coalition, calling the outsize influence of foreign money a threat to Tunisia’s “fragile democracy.”
Though Ennahda’s sources of financing have not been disclosed, its resources are evident. The first party to open offices in towns across the country, Ennahda soon blanketed Tunisia with fliers, T-shirts, signs and bumper stickers. Unlike other parties here, it operates out of a gleaming high-rise in downtown Tunis, gives away professionally published paperbacks in several languages to lay out its platform, distributes wireless headsets for simultaneous translation at its news conferences and hands out bottled water to the crowds at rallies.
Alarmed at the flood of money, the commission overseeing the political transition sought last June to impose rules limiting campaign spending, banning foreign contributions and even barring candidates from giving interviews to foreign-owned news media, a move thought to be aimed mainly at thwarting the potential of the Qatar-owned network Al Jazeera to favor Ennahda candidates.
Ennahda party members have sponsored local charitable events like a recent group wedding for eight couples in the town of Den Den, or giveaways of meat for the feast at the end of Ramadan...
In response, Ennahda withdrew its representative on the commission."