Tunisia: Jewish candidate runs for Municipal Elections as Member of Islamist Ennahda Party

Tunisia’s Islamist party has chosen Simon Salama, a Tunisian Jew, as its candidate for the municipal elections in Monastir, south of Tunis.

Salama said that Ennahda is a civilian party open to modernity, adding that all Jews in Tunisia could participate in civic, social and political life as Tunisian citizens.

Salama, who was raised in Monastir where he lives currently, said that if he won the local elections he would seek to encourage the Jewish community to participate in the upcoming parliamentary election.

“I am sure that I would join the polls as an independent candidate from the Ennahda Movement. If a party other than Ennahda came to me with this offer, that would not be the answer,” he said.

Ennahda was founded as “The Movement of Islamic Tendency” in 1981, inspired by the Iranian Revolution and Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.

The president and leader of the party, Rached Ghannouchi, announced the “historic” turn at Ennahda’s Tenth Congress last May, calling a vote for separation between political activities and religion, reforming it into a “civil party”.

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