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Is Ennahda responsible for the Tunisia crisis?

On 25 July 2021 Populist President Kais Saied launched a coup dismissing Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and suspending parliament. His move followed unrest in the streets due to economic, social and political problems in the North African country made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic

August 2, 2021 at 4:19 pm

The Ennahda Party, led by Islamist leader and current Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, has taken the brunt of the blame for Tunisia’s political and economic crisis which led populist President Kais Saied to dismiss Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and suspend parliament in what many have described as a ‘coup’.

Although the Ennahda party was voted into parliament every election since the 2011 Jasmine Revolution, it has never held the presidency.

The party has also not held the Prime Minister’s Office since 2014, following the governments of Ennahda politicians Hammadi Al-Jabali and Ali Al-Urayyid. This has raised questions regarding how much executive power Ennahda has actually had and exercised over the ten-year period since the Jasmine Revolution and the overthrow of dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Ennahda’s representation in parliament since 2011

The 2011–2014 National Constituent Council

  • 89 seats out of 217 (40%)

The 2014–2018 Parliament

  • 69 seats out of 217 (31.7%)

The 2019 Parliament

  • 54 seats out of 217 (24.8%)

The movement’s representation in government since 2011

The government of Hammadi Al-Jabali (Ennahda)

Late 2011 to March 2013

15 out of 30 ministers from Ennahda (50%)

The government of Ali Al-Urayyid (Ennahda)

March 2013 to January 2014

10 out of 27 ministers from Ennahda (37%)

The government of Mahdi Jumaah

January 2014 to February 2015

None of 21 ministers (0%)

The government of Al-Habib Al-Sid

February 2015 to August 2016

1 of 26 ministers from Ennahda (3.8%)

The government of Yusuf Al-Shahid

August 2016 to February 2020.

3 out of 26 ministers from Ennahda (11.5%)

The government of Ilyas Al-Fakhfakh

February 2020 to September 2020

6 out of 30 ministers from Ennahda (20%)

The government of Hisham Al-Mashishi

September 2020 to July 2021

None of 25 ministers (0%)

READ: International Jurists Union to send delegation to Tunisia