The head of Ennahda Movement in Tunisia, Rashid Ghannouchi, has said that the country needs consensus today more than ever before. “Such consensus,” he pointed out after meeting with President Beji Caid Essebsi, “had saved Tunisia and turned it into an exception [among Arab Spring countries].”
Ghannouchi stressed the need to support national unity and dialogue at the political and social levels as a way to reach compromises necessary for the country’s welfare.
The meeting between Essebsi and Ghannouchi was held ahead of a public session of parliament on Saturday for a vote of confidence on the newly appointed Interior Minister, Hisham Al-Furati. “The Head of Government [Youssef Chahed] should resign or ask parliament for renewed confidence in his government if the country’s difficult crisis is not resolved,” President Essebsi told Nessma TV.
In May, Essebsi decided to suspend the adoption of the “Carthage Document” which sets the political, economic, and social agenda of the country for the coming period. It was signed by various groups across Tunisia.
Later the same month, Chahed acknowledged the existence of a political crisis in the country, and held Hafedh Caid Essebsi, the Executive Director of the Nidaa Tounés Party and son of President Essebsi, responsible. A statement from Nidaa Tounés at the time said that, “The current government has become a political crisis and is no longer a government of national unity.”
Disputes over the fate of the government led to a split within Nidaa Tounés. One group supported the Chahed government and called for partial changes, while another supported Hafedh Essebsi, and called for a total change of government.