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Tunisia: Saied to dissolve Parliament if Fakhfakh’s government dismissed

February 19, 2020 at 3:36 am

Tunisian President Qais Saied (L) gives letter of tasking to Tunisian former Finance Minister Elyes Fakhfakh (R) to form new government at the Carthage Palace in Tunis, Tunisia on January 21, 2020 [Tunisian Presidency / Handout – Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied announced yesterday, Monday, that he would call for early elections and dissolve parliament if the deputies rejected the government of Prime Minister-designate Elyes Fakhfakh after Ennahdha party refused to recognise it.

Fakhfakh revealed on Saturday his government’s components, which quickly collided with the obstacle of Ennahdha’s announcement that it rejected it and withdrew from it.

President Saied said, according to a statement issued by the Presidency, that if the government, which will be presented to Parliament, does not obtain the MPs’ confidence, then the Parliament will be resolved. The state will resort to the people’s will, as the main source of sovereignty and the only party that can decide to whom to give or take away the right to rule the country.

Article 89 of the Tunisian constitution grants the president of the country the authority to dissolve the parliament and call for early elections.

Saied’s statements came during a meeting with the Speaker of Parliament and leader of Ennahdha movement, Rached Ghannouchi, and head of the caretaker government, Youssef Chahed, following the controversy that intensified in the country over the possibility of resorting to other chapters in the constitution to avoid the decision to dissolve the Parliament.

Read: Who is to blame for Tunisia’s political stalemate?

Four months after the parliamentary elections, Tunisia is still unable to agree on a government because of the intensity of political tensions in Parliament, reported Agence France Presse.

Saied stressed that the state would continue operating with its principal facilities, whether the parliament grants confidence to Fakhfakh’s government or not, and that the head of state is the guarantor of the continuity of the state and the supremacy (sovereignty) of the constitution.

The Tunisian President, appointed Fakhfakh, former Finance Minister to form a new government, after the failure of the government of his predecessor, Habib El Jamli, Ennahdha’s candidate, to gain the confidence of the Parliament.

Fakhfakh’s government that should be presented to parliament no later than Thursday includes 29 ministers and state clerks, including 15 independents and six ministers from Ennahdha party, with non-partisan personalities assuming sovereign ministries.

For the government to gain the confidence of Parliament, it must obtain the votes of 109 deputies out of 217, i.e. the total number of seats in the parliament, which includes representative and divided blocks.

In addition to the ongoing political crisis, Tunisia is seeking to meet the needs of the citizens, as it is expected that an IMF economic aid package that has been pumped into the country since 2016, will end in April.