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‘Replacing Chahed’s government is possible,’ says Ghannouchi

Tunisia's Prime Minister Youssef Chahed speaks during a press conference in Tunis, Tunisia on 7 December 2017 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisia's Prime Minister Youssef Chahed speaks during a press conference in Tunis, Tunisia on 7 December 2017 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

The head of Ennahda movement in Tunisia said on Sunday that he did not rule out the possibility of changing the government of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, Anadolu has reported. According to Rached Ghannouchi, the government could be replaced by a technocrat or elected government, or the current administration could be in place until the presidential and legislative elections scheduled for later this year.

Ghannouchi made his comments in a statement during a visit to a number of local Ennahda offices in Monastir governorate, in the east of Tunisia. “Ennahda movement is consulting all parties regarding the current government’s ability to lead the country to the elections,” he explained. “The alternative is to change the government by forming a technocrat or elected administration in order to secure the elections.” He described the latter as “a hypothesis to be discussed.”

Ennahda is the largest parliamentary bloc with 68 MPs out of a total of 217. It has been a keen supporter of maintaining government stability with the possibility of conducting a partial governmental reshuffle at a time when other parties such as Nidaa Tounes (with 41 liberal MPs) have called for sacking the Prime Minister and replacing Chahed’s government.

READ: Marzouki to Tunisian Ennahda: join with us ‘to destroy the monster’ 

Several months ago, Gannouchi stressed the need to maintain political stability in the country in order to upgrade the government’s performance at the economic and social levels, in addition to combating corruption. “Thus, the government is required to commit and devote its full effort to the implementation of the provisions of the Carthage Document specifying its economic and social priorities.”

Last May, Nidaa Tounes claimed that the Chahed government is synonymous with “political crisis and it is no longer a national unity government.”

Although the exact date of the next election has yet to be fixed, the chairman of the Independent High Electoral Commission, Nabil Bafoun, has said that the commission is preparing the next election calendar. As such, the legislative elections are likely to take place on a Sunday in October this year, while the presidential elections will be held on a Sunday in November.

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