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Ghannouchi discusses Fakhfakh’s faltered government formation with union officials

Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rashid Al Ghannouchi attends the 4th congress of Nahda movement student branches at Tunisia University in Tunis, Tunisia on 18 January 2020 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rashid Ghannouchi in Tunis, Tunisia on 18 January 2020 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian Parliament speaker and head of Ennahda Movement, Rached Ghannouchi, discussed the faltered formation of the government with union officials on Sunday, stressing on: “The need to respect the will of the voters and reject exclusion.”

This came in a statement published by Ennahda Movement on its Facebook page, after a tripartite meeting at the Parliament’s headquarters, held between Ghannouchi and the president of the Tunisian Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA), Samir Majoul, and the secretary-general of the Tunisian General Labour Union, Noureddine Taboubi, to discuss the faltered formation of the Tunisian government.

According to the statement, Ghannouchi announced that: “His position is consistent in the necessity of respecting the will of the voters, and ensuring that elements of national unity are strengthened and exclusion is rejected.” The statement further highlights that: “The country needs a broad national unity government and an atmosphere of mutual trust and agreement. The text and essence of the Constitution do allow for finding solutions to address all situations,” and expressed “the legislative authority’s appreciation of the national role of national organisations.”

“The meeting with Ghannouchi was constructive,” according to Majoul in a media statement following the meeting, adding that Ennahda is ready to return to the government formation consultations, which will include all political parties.

READ: Tunisia talks on cabinet press on amid risk of new election

In turn, Taboubi affirmed that: “The political situation has been difficult recently. On Saturday, we contacted the prime minister-designate, Elyes Fakhfakh, and president of the Republic, Kais Saied, and we still have an opportunity in the upcoming hours, for the sake of the country’s interest.”

Tunisian President Saied emphasised on Saturday that he will not leave his country subject to different interests, stating that: “Manoeuvring under the cover of the Constitution cannot be tolerated,” in his first comment on the announcement of the prime minister-designate, Fakhfakh, of his proposed formation after the withdrawal of Ennahda.

Fakhfakh discussed with the president the possibility of adjusting the proposed government formation, amid Ennahda’s decision to withdraw from the government.

The decision taken by Fakhfakh and Saied means taking advantage of the remaining five days for further consultations around the possibility of making an adjustment to the proposed government formation to ensure it is passed in Parliament.

Ennahda announced that it will not grant trust to Fakhfakh’s government because of his insistence on rejecting the movement’s demand to form: “A government of national unity that does not exclude any party.”

The deadline for the formation of a government ends on 20 February. According to the Tunisian Constitution, if the government is not formed within the specified period, early parliamentary elections will be held.

READ: Tunisia Ennahda Movement says it will not grant trust to Fakhfakh’s government

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