Dr Moncef Marzouki, President of Tunisia, and Sheikh Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the Ennahda movement in Tunisia, have been voted the joint winners of 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 dem ocratic 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 across 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 and 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 Rached 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.'
Notes to Editors
The award ceremony will take place in London on Monday 26 November 2012. Media spaces are available but are limited. Please contact the Press Office if you would like to attend.
About the Chatham House Prize
The process to select the nominees of the Prize draws on the recommendations of our research teams and the advice of our three Presidents. Chatham House members then vote for the winner in a ballot. The winner is presented with a crystal award and a scroll signed by our Patron, Her Majesty The Queen. More.
The other nominees for the 2012 Prize were:
Archbishop Deng, South Sudan
Christine Lagarde, Managing Director, International Monetary Fund
Jonas Gahr Støre, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Norway
2011 - Aung San Suu Kyi, Burmese democracy campaigner
2010 - President Abdullah Gül of Turkey
2009 - President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil
2008 - President John Kufuor of Ghana
2007 - HH Sheikha Mozah, Chairperson of the Qatar Foundation for Education,
Science and Community Development
2006 - President Joaquim Chissano, of Mozambique
2005 - President Victor Yushchenko of Ukraine