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Tunisia MPs receive funds from UAE to withdraw confidence from Ghannouchi

Leader of Nahda Movement Rachid al-Ghannouchi greets people during a gathering within Nahda Movement's election campaign at Habib Burgiba Street ahead of Tunisia's presidential election in Tunis, Tunisia on 4 October 2019. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]
Leader of Nahda Movement Rachid Al-Ghannouchi in Tunis, Tunisia on 4 October 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Head of Ennahda parliamentary bloc Noureddine Al-Beheiri revealed what he referred to as “pressure exerted from inside and outside the country” with the temptation of Emirati funds to urge MPs to amend their positions and to withdraw confidence from Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi during the voting session scheduled for next Thursday.

Al-Beheiri also discussed an Emirati plan to destroy the Tunisian political system, which aims to create a vacuum in parliament by removing its speaker and disrupt the process of granting confidence to the next government, which will create a state of void within the country’s political system, reported Al Jazeera.

The leader of the Ennahda movement Ghannouchi is being exposed to a systematic defamation campaign run by the Saudi, Emirati and Egyptian media, in an attempt to discredit the parliament speaker and to disturb the Tunisian political climate, according to a report by Anadolu Agency.

The report pointed to lies published simultaneously by the “counter-revolution” media, in the forefront of which are Sky News and Al Arabiya channels.

READ: Tunisia is torn between a reading of the constitution and the death of politics 

The statement noted that the campaign claimed that Ghannouchi achieved financial wealth, estimated at $8 billion, since his return to Tunisia after the 2011 revolution, although the country’s budget does not exceed $16.5 billion.

According to Anadolu Agency, observers believe that the campaign aims to create a rift between parliament and the presidency in Tunisia, and to provoke battles between the parliamentary blocs, with the aim of dismantling state institutions from within.

Voting session

Tunisian parliament is scheduled to hold a session on Thursday, during which MPs will vote on a list to withdraw confidence from Ghannouchi, submitted by four parliamentary blocs and independent deputies who accuse the speaker of taking decisions without consulting the parliament’s office, and making statements on foreign relations in a manner that is incompatible with Tunisian diplomacy, as stated by the petition.

According to Al Jazeera, the voting session will be confidential and there will be no discussion. As such, MPs will be called consecutively to vote.

Those seeking to remove Ghannouchi gathered no less than 73 signatures, which is the number required to pass the list. The Free Destourian party is also supposed to vote in favour of the no-confidence list.

READ: Tunisia is in the middle of a hot regional conflict 

A member of Tahya Tounes party (10 deputies) led by former Prime Minister Youssef Chahed spoke of collecting more than 109 votes, which is the majority required to withdraw confidence from the speaker of parliament.

A few days ago, Ghannouchi expressed his confidence that Thursday’s session would end with renewing confidence in him, expressing that he did not come to parliament to stay against the deputies’ will.

Ghannouchi added that he accepted the challenge, although it was possible to reject the list of withdrawing confidence as it included several breaches.

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