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Ennahda: ‘We are working to spare Tunisia from early elections'

Leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda movement, Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi [File photo]
Leader of Tunisia’s Ennahda movement, Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi [File photo]

The Tunisian Ennahda movement confirmed, on Wednesday, its willingness to spare the country from holding early parliamentary elections, noting that there has been progress in the negotiations to form the new government.

This came in statements made by Abdelkarim Harouni, head of the movement’s Shura Council (Islamic / 54 deputies from 217), during a press conference held in Ennahda’s headquarters in the capital, Tunis.

Harouni said: “The Shura Council mandated the movement’s executive office to continue negotiations related to the new government, its composition and program.”

He added that “the executive office will later determine (without specifying the exact date) the position of Ennahda, either by participating in the government or opting for other alternatives,” without providing further details.

Harouni indicated that “Ennahda is working to spare the country from holding early elections, which will require additional efforts and funds, and which be an adventure amid unstable conditions (…) even though it is a democratic and constitutional solution, and although Ennahda is not afraid to participate in another election.”

He noted that “the movement will strive to find a solution within the framework of respect to the constitution and harmony between the parties, and prove that the political parties can rule by the voters’ choices.”

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

Harouni reiterated his movement’s affirmation of its “commitment to President Kais Saied’s decision and his diligence to interpret the constitution, as the main legislative reference, especially in the absence of a Constitutional Court.”

He pointed out that Ennahda “affirms that we live in a state of law and that the right to interpret and come up with different explications of the constitution is reserved to all while confirming that the President of the Republic is the first guarantor of abidance to the constitution.”

Harouni highlighted that “Ennahda adheres to form a strong government and a clear program that meets the expectations of the Tunisian people.”

He continued: “We want a political government composed by party members. We want to review the composition of the government in this direction, and we are still negotiating with the Prime Minister-designate.”

Harouni stated: “It is out of question to accept the appointment of any political personality (in the government), who is suspected of incompetence, dishonesty or open to normalising relations with Israel, let alone being accused of corruption, and we will firmly insist on this criterion of selection because it represents one of the goals of the revolution against corruption.”

During the conference, Harouni referred to “progress made at the level of reviewing the composition of the government and the distribution of responsibilities in it, but up to now the movement has not received a final list based on which an ultimate position can be taken.”

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

On Saturday, the Prime Minister-designate Elyes Fakhfakh announced the formation of his government, but he decided with Saied to conduct further consultations, following Ennahda’s withdrawal from the negotiations.

During his meeting with the Speaker of Parliament and Leader of Ennahda party, Rached Ghannouchi, and head of the Caretaker Government Youssef Chahed, on Monday, at Carthage Palace, Saied threatened “to solve the parliament”, and hold early elections if the MPs refuse to give confidence to Fakhfakh’s government, according to a statement of the presidency, of which the Anadolu Agency obtained a copy.

On 15 November, Saied appointed Habib Jemli, who was named by Ennahda, to form a government. However, the latter failed to gain Parliament confidence.

On 20 January, the president assigned the former leader of the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties (No Representative in parliament) to form a government within no more than a month; a deadline that expires on Thursday.


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