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Tunisia PM: 'I am not in disagreement with Ghannouchi'

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 Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh denied that there in a disagreement with Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, pointing out that they just have different viewpoints.

"There is no disconnection with Ghannouchi, we are talking," Fakhfakh said in an interview broadcasted on a local private channel on Sunday evening.

"Ghannouchi is the head of a ruling party in government, and he can do what he deems good for his party," he continued. He indicated that the speaker of parliament also heads the Ennahda Movement, the largest parliamentary bloc with 54 of the 217 seats.

Fakhfakh confirmed that "a sense of coherence within the coalition is being created and we are working to support it," considering that "if the coalition manages to pass the laws it proposes, it will continue."

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He refused to expand the coalition to other parties. "The government is built upon a coalition of 129 deputies and I do not want to expand it," he said in an implicit reference to Ennahda's request to expand the ruling coalition so that it includes other parties.

"The coalition represents all intellectual and political families in Tunisia, and it constitutes a true national unity among the political families," he added.

"The government coalition expands only when it fails."

Last week, the head of the Ennahda movement's parliamentary bloc, Noureddine El-Behairy, said that "the current pro-government majority is too weak to be able vote on the laws and constitutional bodies of the government that it intends to present."

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