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Tunisia: Ennahda leader welcomes plans to meet president

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]

Tunisia's Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi welcomed plans being made for him to meet President Kais Saied to discuss the political crisis in the country.

"A meeting took place this morning between Rached Ghannouchi, Parliament Speaker and President of the Ennahda movement, and Mr. Lotfi Zaitoun at the request of the latter, during which Zaitoun proposed a meeting between the Parliament Speaker and the President of the republic to deliberate on the country's difficult condition," a statement published on Ghannouchi's Facebook page yesterday read.

Zaitoun is a former leader of Ghannouchi's Ennahda movement.

The statement added that "out of his firm conviction that there is no other way to solve the country's problems except through dialogue and in search of consensus, Ghannouchi welcomed arranging the proposed meeting."

In late February, Ghannouchi proposed an initiative to solve the political crisis in Tunisia by holding a tripartite meeting between the president, the prime minister and himself under the supervision of President Kais Saied.

READ: Power dispute paralyses Tunisia

The conflict between the officials began in January when Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi dismissed five ministers, known to be close to the president, and assigned other officials to the vacant posts in the interim period.

Saied accused Mechichi of "violating the provisions of the constitution", and refused to allow the new officials to swear their oath ahead of taking up their posts.

Later, Saied also refused to seal a bill on the formation of the Constitutional Court, although it was approved by Parliament on two consecutive occasions.

Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi said Saied does not have the power to refuse appointments after a vote of confidence was granted to them in Parliament, adding that his role is "symbolic".

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