Tunisia's Ennahda Wants Leader to be House Speaker
Tunisia's Ennahda party, which last month came top in legislative polls, put forward its leader Rached Ghannouchi on Sunday to head the next parliament.
Ennahda won 52 out of 217 seats in October's parliamentary election, well short of the 109 needed to govern. It also insisted Sunday that the new prime minister be selected from the party.
Ghannouchi, veteran leader of Ennahda, was proposed as candidate for speaker of parliament by the party's Shura Council, according to council chief Abdelkarim Harouni.
Ghannouchi has never run for office but won a parliamentary seat in Tunis in the October 6 legislative polls.
Harouni on Sunday reiterated that Ennahda wants one of its own figures to head the new government.
The party has until Friday to announce its candidate for the premiership.
Ennahda has been holding negotiations with other political groups to form a new government.
But Harouni said "certain parties want to deprive the winner of the legislative election" from heading the cabinet.
Potential partners have not accepted that the new PM be one of Ennahda’s leaders: Attayar with 22 seats, Achaab's Movement with 16 seats and current Prime Minister Youssef Chahed's Tahya Tounes party with 14. Only the Karama coalition, with 21 seats, agreed.
Harouni’s remarks came despite a senior Ennahda official telling Reuters on Friday that there is possibility of a figure from outside the party being nominated to head the next government.
Tunisia's new parliament is expected to hold its first full session on Wednesday.
The legislative polls were held between the first and second round of Tunisia's presidential election which was won by political outsider Kais Saied.