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Tunisia's Ennahda slams 'smear campaign'

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]

Tunisia's Ennahda Movement yesterday denied recent accusations by politicians, describing them as "attempts to defame the party and exclude it from the political scene."

Politicians in Tunisia have accused Ennahda of "terrorism, and pressuring companies to polish the party's public image."

"Parties, who accuse Ennahdha of terrorism, lobbying and foreign funding, have perpetrated crimes of tax evasion," the party's Shura Council member, Sami Triki, told reporters, stressing that they were attempting "to remove the party from the political scene by appealing to the armed forces."

Ennahda's opponents are "trying to hold our party responsible for all the crises the country is witnessing," he continued. "We are proud of what the party has accomplished over the past decade," he said.

READ: Political Islam and Democracy Crisis in North Africa 

"The party has not used state agencies to strike its political opponents, nor did it forbid demonstrations and protest movements, or resort to military and security forces in political conflicts," Triki reiterated.

On 25 July, Tunisian President Kais Saied cited Article 80 of the constitution to dismiss Prime Minister Hicham Mechichi, freeze the work of parliament for 30 days, lift the immunity of ministers, and appoint himself as head of the executive authority until the formation of a new government.  The move toppled a government in which Ennahda was the most prominent.

This comes after violent protests broke out in several Tunisian cities criticising the government's handling of the economy and the coronavirus. Demonstrators had called for parliament to be dissolved.

The majority of the country's political parties slammed the move as a "coup against the constitution" and the achievements of the 2011 revolution.

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