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Ennahda party: 'Consultations on government formation still ongoing'

The Tunisian Ennahda party announced on Monday that the consultations on the government formation "have not failed and are still ongoing," noting that the newly formed government will be announced this week.

This came during a press conference held by Ennahda party in the capital, Tunis.

At the conference, the head of the party's political bureau, Noureddine Al-Arbawi, said that "the Democratic Current's decision, along with the People's Movement and Tahya Tounes, to withdraw from the consultations was hasty, and wasted a precious chunk of time from the duration of the consultation."

Al-Arbawi added that "contrarily to what was promoted, the consultations did not fail and are still ongoing."

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He confirmed that "the Prime Minister-designate Habib Al-Jomli was aware and approved the initiative launched by Jaouhar Ben Mbarek, Professor of Constitutional Law, and media professional, Habib Bouajila.

Al-Arbawi indicated that "this initiative, launched from 8 to 21 December, was aimed to establish a common ground between and search for a consensus between the different parties, especially between Ennahda and the Democratic Current, current, during four  meetings attended by five parties, namely Ennahda, Democratic Current, the People's Movement, Tahya Tounes and the Dignity Coalition."

Both Ben Mbarek and Bouajila launched an initiative to conduct discussions, which included Ennahda, Democratic Current, the People's Movement, Tahya Tounes and the Dignity Coalition (revolutionary), to convince the different parties to resume the consultations on forming the government.

According to Al-Arbawi, "Ennahda and the Prime Minister-designate have accepted all the conditions set forward by the Democratic Current, i.e. to grant the Democratic Current the ministries of justice and administrative reform, to attach the judicial police and the administrative control authority to the ministries mentioned above, and to agree on neutralising the ministry of interior."

He asserted that "what is being promoted regarding Al-Jomli's intention to appoint independent personalities to head 15 ministries is simply untrue, confirming that Al-Jomli has kept only four departments for this purpose while handing the remaining ministries to the parties participating in the next government.

For his part, Imad Al-Hammami, member of Ennahda's executive bureau, announced that "the formation of the government will be announced this week," without specifying an accurate date.

Al-Hammami confirmed that "the Parliament has enough representatives to vote on the government" without providing further details.

He held "the Democratic Current and the People's Movement responsible for all the wasted time, during which some parties took to postpone their meetings with Al-Jomli before declaring their decision not to participate in the government."

Al-Hammami considered that "the Democratic Current has not justified the decision to withdraw from the new government, while the People's Movement linked its position to the Democratic Current's withdrawal."

On Sunday, the Democratic Current (Social Democrats / 22 MPs / 217) and the people' Movement (Nasserite Nationalism / 15 MPs) and Tahya Tounes (liberal / 14 seats) declared the decision to withdraw from the new government.

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This came following Ennahda's announcement (Islamic / 54 MPs), on Friday, about reaching a preliminary agreement to form a government with the Democratic Current, the People's Movement and Tahya Tounes party.

In the middle of last November, President Kais Saied appointed Al-Jomli to form the government, after receiving the latter's nomination from Ennahda, which won the legislative elections on 6 October.

A week ago, Al-Jomli asked President Kais Saied to extend the deadline for forming the government, as one month has already passed without succeeding in setting the new government.

The next government needs the support of 109 deputies (50 per cent +1) to gain legal status.

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