The Chairman of Ennahda Movement’s Consultative Council in Tunisia has said that the crisis in the ruling Nidaa Tounes party has affected the government and parliament. “We hope that such a crisis will be resolved soon,” added Abdelkarim Harouni. He made his comment on the sidelines of the Council’s 22nd session Hammamet on Saturday.
Since 2015, Nidaa Tounes has been involved in a political crisis with divisions that have deepened since last spring due to the conflict between Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and the party’s executive director, Hafez Caid Essebsi, the President’s son. The disagreement has escalated into accusations of damaging the party’s structure and interests.
“Ennahda’s constant endorsement of governmental stability,” explained Harouni, “means that we are keen to hear some clarification about Chahed’s current stance, and whether he will stay in Nidaa Tounes or leave to establish a new political party.” The movement wants to know the Prime Minister’s intentions regarding participation in the coming elections and running for office.
Harouni also pointed out that Ennahda is considering the proper way to respond to the accusations made by the Popular Front, a leftist coalition of 15 MPs. Ennahda’s response, he said, will be either political, judicial or mediated.
The accusations were raised a few days ago, when Redha Radawi, a member of Chokri Belaïd and Mohamed Brahmi Defence Committee, told a press conference that new evidence has emerged about Tunisia’s political assassinations. They were seized, he pointed out, from Mustafa Khidr, who is serving eight years in prison.
“Khidr was supervising Ennahda’s secret organisation,” claimed Radawi. “He was in direct contact with Ennahda’s senior leadership, especially with the head of the movement, Rached Ghannouchi, and the head of the movement’s parliamentary bloc, Noureddine Bhiri.”
Such allegations, insisted Harouni, are an attempt to cover up the “contradictions and differences” within the Popular Front. “The elections are soon to be held in Tunisia and we advise [the Front] to compete with Ennahda and challenge the movement with an electoral programme that works for the benefit of the Tunisian citizens.”