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Ennahda official challenges leadership over need to involve younger generation

Supporters of Ennahda Movement in Tunis, Tunisia, on 27 February 2021. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]
Supporters of Ennahda Movement in Tunis, Tunisia, on 27 February 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

An official in Ennahda movement has called on leader Rached Ghannouchi to pass the leadership baton on to the party's younger generation to help solve Tunisia's problems. "If we do not take a step back, we may have to launch a new party," said Muhammad Ben Salem yesterday. The current leadership, he added, cannot find any solutions with the President of the Republic because of their "repeated provocations".

According to Express FM, Ben Salem said that the crisis of the ministers recommended by Ennahda, with whom President Kais Saied refused to swear the constitutional oath because of suspicions of corruption, has complicated his relationship with the movement. He asked the president to make Ennahda the starting point for corruption investigations.

Although Ennahda's Shura (Consultative) Council considered reviewing the issue of the ministers in question, explained Ben Salem, the head of the Executive Office insisted on appointing them in order to satisfy the Heart of Tunisia party and the Speaker of the Parliament, Ghannouchi.

In his view, said the official, it is possible to overcome the current crisis through compromise and talks with Saied, but not between the president and Ennahda. Talks between the political class and the presidency, or via a political alliance that defends freedoms and democracy if parties are to be excluded, could be successful, he claimed.

Moreover, Ben Salem suggested that dialogue with the president cannot be developed within the movement under the current leadership. He noted that reformists usually win Ennahda's internal elections, but when decision making is narrowed to a small circle, pressures always arise.

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