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Tunisia Opposition Stages Protest Demanding Ghannouchi Resignation

Tunisia Opposition Stages Protest Demanding Ghannouchi Resignation

Tuesday, 2 June, 2020 - 09:30
Tunisian parliament Speaker Rached al-Ghannouchi. (Reuters)
Tunis - Mongi Saidani

Tunisian opposition groups staged on Monday protests in the capital Tunis, demanding the resignation of parliament Speaker Rached al-Ghannouchi.


The protest, held in front of the parliament building, is part of series of movements that are demanding an overhaul of Tunisia's political system. The protests will culminate in a major rally on June 14, when curfew imposed over the novel coronavirus outbreak is lifted, and during which the opposition demands will be declared and put to a popular referendum.


Several other sit-ins were held throughout the country to voice their rejection of recent political and parliamentary developments.


The opposition has criticized Ghannouchi for his errors, the latest of which was his telephone call with head of the Libyan Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj.


Monday's sit-in took place two days before Ghannouchi, who also heads the moderate Islamist Ennahda movement, is set to be grilled at a parliamentary hearing.


Opposition political sources said Ennahda is wary of the protests, fearing that they would lead to a popular movement similar to the one that erupted in 2013 and saw it ousted from power.


One of the leaders of the protest movement, former MP Fatima al-Masadi declared that "all people are racing to oust the rotten political regime and change the current political system. Everyone is pointing in different directions, but they are united in one goal."


Another organizer of the rallies said that among the people's many demands is the dissolution of parliament. He added that none of the more than 200 Tunisian parties have met the demands of the revolution, but they have only compounded crises.


Several political parties, however, distanced themselves from the latest protests.


Despite the sharp differences between it and Ennahda, the Free Destourian Party announced that it was not involved in Monday's rallies.


A member of the Democratic Patriots' Unified Party said it too will not join the protests because they do not have defined goals.


Former member of the Nidaa Tounes movement, Khalid Shaukat, said the country does not need more political or ideological disputes, adding that it was "absurd to ruin our nations with our own hands."


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