Qatari Regime “An Enemy to Tunisia and Arab World”: Hama Hamami Communist Workers Party of Tunisia (POCT)

 Hama Hamami Leader of Communist Workers Party of Tunisia (POCT) , claimed yesterday (i.e 19th October 2011 –editor OA) that ”The Qatari regime is an enemy to Tunisia and the Arab World,” referring to Qatar’s alleged involvement in the guiding of democratic uprisings of 2011 in North Africa and the Middle East.

Qatar’s role in the “Arab Spring” has been a source of controversy among politicians and citizens across the Arabic-speaking world.

Many have claimed that the tiny Gulf emirate has been promoting its agenda through its television channel Al Jazeera, while others have claimed that Qatar has broader motives for backing and supporting Islamist parties.

The Tunisian Islamist Party Ennahda, whose historic election victory solidified its hold on the largest share of seats in the Constituent Assembly, was accused of having affiliations with, and accepting financial aid from, Qatar.

The extent of political and economic Qatari involvement in Tunisia’s affairs has been a large point of contention in Tunisia since the revolution. Hamma Hamami, leader of POCT, stated that Qatar is playing a dangerous game, and is only serving its own agenda. He also added that Qatar is an agent of USA and Israel.

“Qatar is playing a dangerous role under the umbrella of USA; it is a government that serves America’s agenda, and also has direct relations with Israel. Qatar’s intentions are not patriotic,” Hamami said.

Hamami also asserted that Qatar is attempting to guide moderate Islamic parties, which are popular in Qatar, toward the political choices of the USA.

“Qatar is conditioning popular Islamic parties to serve American and Western interests, and they are managing to achieve that end through the messages that Ennahda is sending to America and Western society. Ennahda is basically assuring the west that the relationship between Tunisia and the West will not change. I do not have concrete proof but this is my political analysis.”

Hamami also referred specifically to Al Jazeera, claiming that during the electoral campaign the network was 90% pro-Ennahda.

When asked about Qatar’s support for Tunisia economically, he said that Tunisia does not need financial aid as much as it needs a, “political economy.”

“Tunisia is a self-sufficient country that is rich with natural resources – it is not about having money. A good example is Libya: The country was rich but they were living in awful conditions,” he added.

“The revolutions were authentic, but the USA wants to orient these new democratic movements in their own direction,” he added.

Samir Dilou, an Ennahda member who is rumored to hold the post of the Human Rights and Transitional Justice Minister (and to be spokesperson of the upcoming Government) disagreed with Hamami.

“I respect what he said, but I do not agree with him. It is his political opinion and it lacks any concrete proof.”

He added that Tunisia’s relations with Qatar are no different from Tunisia’s relations with other Arab countries.

“Our relations with Qatar are nothing but friendly, just like any other Arab country. We want what’s in our nation’s best interest, and if that involves having economic relations with Qatar, or any other Arab country, then we will not be against it. We welcome all Arab investors.”

When asked about Al Jazeera being Pro-Ennahda, he replied,”We actually protested against Al Jazeera before because some of its broadcasts were anti-Ennahda. We respect media but Al Jazeera is sometimes right and sometimes wrong.”


Money and religion were used to manipulate elections in Tunisia

The election result “gives a misleading picture and do not reflect the party’s role and influence through their participation in the Tunisian revolution.” Hamma Hammami, secretary general of PCOT the press conference in Tunis on 29 in October .

TUNIS (TAP) – “Violations and infringements committed in the election campaign and on the day of the Constituent Assembly election impacted considerably on the credibility and transparency of elections,” said Secretary-General of the Tunisian Workers’ Communist Party (PCOT) Hamma Hammami.

Speaking at a news conference held on Saturday in Tunis, Mr. Hammami said the PCOT won three seats in the precincts of Sfax 1, Kairouan and Siliana, adding that the results “are deceiving and do not reflect the weight of the party and the level of its participation in the Tunisian Revolution.”

He also believed necessary to review the first multi-party elections in Tunisia and shed light on shortcomings and infringements recorded so as to “draw lessons and make sure they will not take place in the next elections.”

“Poor turn-out, suspicious funding of some candidate tickets in the elections and the partiality of several public media impacted considerably on the results of the election,” he underlined.

Moreover, the Secretary-General of PCOT denounced the use of religion in mosques and public spaces for political purposes and the launch of large-scale smear campaigns against several revolutionary forces including the PCOT.

These acts, he said, were aimed to “divert the public opinion from fundamental issues and direct its attention to ideological conflicts to break its unity.”

In this regard, Mr. Hammami expressed hope that the progressive and left forces in Tunisia draw lessons from this experience and close ranks to prepare for the next events, denying that his party had received any request for coalition in the Constituent Assembly.

The chairman of the legal committee of the party’s election campaign Habib Ziyadi said the PCOT filed appeals in the precincts of Zaghouan and Gafsa, mainly for violations committed by Al-Aridha (Popular Petition)  and the “Free Patriotic Party,” infringement in counting in the precinct of Ariana and mistakes made in counting votes in Sidi Bouzid.