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Tunisia: No-confidence vote fails to remove 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]

Tunisia's parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi on Thursday maintained his position after surviving a no-confidence vote, Anadolu Agency reports.

His Ennahda party's MPs are celebrating as the results allow Ghannouchi to continue his term of 2020-2024.

"Thank you for your trust. Tunisia, revolution and legitimacy triumph," Ghannouchi tweeted.

Earlier Thursday, the Tunisian parliament began a secret vote on Ghannouchi, the head of the party with the largest majority.

The Democratic Bloc (the Democratic Current and People's Movement) with 38 seats, Tahya Tounes Bloc with 10, the National Reform Bloc with 16, and the National Bloc with 11 seats voted to remove Ghannouchi.

READ: Tunisia MPs receive funds from UAE to withdraw confidence from Ghannouchi

The four blocs attribute their position to what they call "individually taken decisions by the speaker without consulting the Parliament Office [the assembly's highest body], and issuing statements regarding Tunisia's foreign relations that contradict with the orientation of the Tunisian diplomacy".

The blocs failed to secure the mandatory 109 votes out of 217 to pass the motion.

The Free Constitutional Bloc, which holds 16 seats, had announced it would also vote to remove Ghannouchi, which would have raised the potential votes to 91, though still remained below the required majority.

Last Friday, Ghannouchi said: "I am confident that it will be a moment to renew confidence in me as speaker of parliament and to re-endorse me."

"I did not come to the presidency of the parliament by a tank, but I came through election," he added.

The Parliament Office approved that the no-confidence vote would be confidential and without deliberations or public debate among the deputies.

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