Tunisia: The WikiLeaks connection
Mohamed Ghannouchi, former PM now acting as president, described in WikiLeaks cables as well-liked and respected
- The Guardian,
- Article history
The man now president, Mohamed Ghannouchi was profiled in January 2006 in a secret US cable in 2006, recently released by Wikileaks. "A technocrat and economist, Ghannouchi has served as prime minister since 1999. Is rumored to have told many he wishes to leave the government but has not had the opportunity. Length of his service as PM also suggests Ben Ali [president until resignation] does not view him as a threat and he is unlikely to be viewed as a qualified successor. However, average Tunisians generally view him with respect and he is well-liked in comparison to other GOT and RCD [ruling party] officials." Then US ambassador William Hudson said: "Given the fact Ben Ali has a dictatorial hold, it is hard to believe he'll voluntarily step down." Even so, "the mere fact an increasing number of Tunisians are talking about the end of the Ben Ali era is remarkable." Publication of WikiLeaks sourced private US comments on the corruption and nepotism of a hated "sclerotic" regime is said to have helped create Tunisia's protest, and generated talk by US commentators of a "Wikileaks revolution".