Tunisian Prime Minister-designate Hichem Mechichi has continued his efforts and consultations with various political parties to form a new government.
Media leaks from these talks have revealed a growing number of parties’ objection to the inclusion of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party in the new government coalition.
The objections have been expressed by the Democratic Current and People’s Movement, whose leader Zouhair Maghzaoui said that opponents of Ennahda are mulling the possibility of forming a government without it.
Other opponents of Speaker Rached al-Ghannouchi’s movement include the Free Destourian Party, which boasts 17 seats at parliament. The Democratic Current and People’s Movement boast 38 lawmakers at the legislature. These parties were able to secure the vote of 97 MPs during a recent no-c-confidence vote against the speaker.
They were short of the 109 needed to oust him, but they managed to form a new opposition front that will rally behind calls to keep Ennahda out of government.
The Free Destourian Party, one of Ennahda’s fiercest opponents, has announced that it would not take part in Mechichi’s government-formation efforts unless they are aimed at keeping Ghannouchi’s movement out of power.
On the other side of the divide, head of Ennahda’s parliamentary bloc, Noureddine al-Bhiri, said the movement will welcome all suggestions that meet the aspirations of the Tunisian people.
Ennahda is ready to work with all political parties, except those who have taken themselves out of the equation, he said, referring to the Free Destourian Party.