Tunisian judiciary opens investigation on Ennahda for paid international lobbying

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The Tunisian judiciary has opened a new investigation against the Islamist Ennahda movement, after the disclosure of a lobbying contract with a pressure group which the movement concluded last week to campaign in its favor.

The lobbying attempt in the US is to improve the movement’s image and manipulate public opinion to form a pressure group against President Kais Saied after his recent decisions.

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The spokesperson for the Court of First Instance, Mohsen El-Dali, said in a statement to the Tunis African News Agency on Friday that the Public Prosecution is in the process of collecting data regarding a contract between an international agency for communication and public relations and the Ennahda party.

The controversy was sparked following the circulation of documents about a contract concluded by the Ennahda Movement and the agency “Burson Cohen & Wolfe” on July 29, with a value of $30,000.

Such acts are prohibited and punishable by Tunisian law, which does not allow political parties to obtain foreign support or funds from abroad.

The judiciary had also opened an investigation in mid-July against Ennahda Movement, the Heart of Tunisia Party, and the Aish Tounis Association, regarding lobbying attempts related to obtaining foreign funding for electoral campaigns and accepting funds of an unknown source.

Ennahda movement resorted to foreign support, following its failure to achieve internal popular and political mobilization against Said’s decisions to freeze parliament, strip its members of immunity and dismiss the government.

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