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Tunisia needs political stability, not a change of government, says Ghannouchi

Rached Ghannouchi, Tunisian parliament speaker and the head of the Ennahda Movement in Tunis, Tunisia on 12 January 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Rached Ghannouchi, Tunisian parliament speaker and the head of the Ennahda Movement in Tunis, Tunisia on 12 January 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

The Speaker of the Tunisian Parliament has said that he sees no need to change the current government, suggesting instead that the country needs political stability to initiate urgent economic reforms.

"The constitutional apparatus was disrupted in Carthage because of the failure of President Kais Saied to carry out his duty by accepting the oath of the proposed ministers," Rached Ghannouchi told Reuters. "Corruption charges are a serious matter and only the judiciary should have a decision in this regard… The president acted as an appeal court that overrides what Parliament has approved… he cannot be a judge and the president."

Ghannouchi pointed out that it is not possible for all powers to be controlled by a single party. "The essence of the Tunisian revolution is to separate powers, not to converge them." The veteran politician urged President Saied to follow the steps of former President Beji Caid Essebsi. "He was at odds with Prime Minister Youssef Chahed years ago, but accepted the government reshuffle at the time and abided by the provisions of the constitution."

In response to a question about why his own Ennahda Movement refused to change the government in order to solve the crisis, Ghannouchi responded: "The question is not why we reject changing the government, but rather why anyone would want to change the government at all. We have changed governments eight times since the revolution and nothing has changed… The lack of stability is a real problem… Even the General Labour Union did not demand a change of government."

According to Ghannouchi, some of Tunisia's problems emanate from the dual political system. "It should be reviewed. Ennahda prefers a full parliamentary system." He stressed that this matter could be part of any national dialogue that includes the constitution, economic and social problems, and reforms that require broad consensus.

READ: 'Ben Ali's party is a threat to Tunisia; time to ban it,' says ex-president Marzouki

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