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More Tunisian MPs Back Ghannouchi’s Grilling

More Tunisian MPs Back Ghannouchi’s Grilling

Sunday, 24 May, 2020 - 08:45
Tunisian parliament (File photo: Reuters)
Tunis - Mongi Saidani

Tunisia’s opposition Free Destourian Party (PDL) parliamentary bloc, which includes 16 lawmakers, succeeded in gaining the support of four additional parliamentary blocs for its draft motion to grill Tunisian Parliament Speaker and leader of Ennahda Movement Rached Ghannouchi.

Ghannouchi is coming under unprecedented pressure ahead of parliamentary questioning over his meddling in the country’s foreign diplomacy for the purpose of pushing his partisan agenda.

The decision to question Ghannouchi comes following a draft motion filed by the PDL, in which the parliamentary bloc rejected any foreign interference in Libyan affairs and denounced Ghannouchi’s utilization of parliamentary diplomacy and positions on developments in Libya, said a statement by the Bureau of the Tunisian House of Peoples Representatives.

Ghannouchi had recently made a phone call to Libya’s Government of National Accord (GNA) leader Fayez al-Sarraj in which he extended congratulations for the GNA regaining control of al-Watiyya airbase from Libyan National Army (LNA) forces.

PDL said the phone call was in violation to state institutions and compromises the Tunisian state’s impartiality towards the conflict in Libya.

The four parliamentary blocs backing PDL’s motion to grill Ghannouchi include the Heart of Tunisia (29 votes), the National Reform bloc (15 votes), Tahya Tounes (14 votes) and Al Mustakbal bloc (9 votes).

The four parliamentary blocs also called in a joint statement May 21 to “respect diplomatic customs,” insisting on the importance of avoiding any interference with other counties and not involving parliament in the politics of axes, in accordance with the constants of Tunisian diplomacy.

Distancing their political parties from Ghannouchi’s statement, the leaders of the four parliamentary blocs said that the parliament speaker has no legal prerogative to communicate positions of the country’s parliament without consultation with official bodies of the legislative branch.

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