Wednesday 18th July 2012 | 17:39
Chatham House Prize 2012 Winners Named
Dr Moncef Marzouki, President of Tunisia, and Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda movement in Tunisia, have been voted the joint winnersof the Chatham House Prize 2012. This annual award is presented to the statesperson deemed by members of the Royal Institute of International Affairs at Chatham House to have made the most significant contribution to the improvement of international relations in the previous year.
President Marzouki and Sheikh Ghannouchi were nominated jointly for the successful compromises each achieved during Tunisia?s democratic transition. They have together ensured that Tunisia remains at the forefront of the democratic wave in the Middle East and North Africa.
During the campaign for the elections, President Marzouki demonstrated his ability to compromise and work across political and ideological divides. As the first democratically elected Arab president and a lifelong human rights activist known over the Arab world, President Marzouki has provided an example for others in the region to follow.
Sheikh Ghannouchi has been widely praised for the role he has played in promoting compatibility between Islam with democracy and modernity, a contribution which has promoted a culture of tolerance and bridge-building
across the political spectrum. His party, Ennahda, has formed a coalition government and become a model in the region by promoting consensus, respect and the acceptance of others ? both Islamist and secularist.
Dr Robin Niblett, Director of Chatham House, says, 'I warmly congratulate Dr Moncef Marzouki and Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi on receiving the Chatham House Prize 2012. The successful steps taken in Tunisia could not have been achieved without the determination and shared vision of these two leaders.
For this reason, the Prize has been jointly awarded.'