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Tunisia’s Free Destourian Party Announces Resuming Talks to Form Govt

Tunisia’s Free Destourian Party Announces Resuming Talks to Form Govt

Wednesday, 12 August, 2020 - 09:15
Tunisia’s Prime Minister-designate Hichem Mechichi (EPA)

Tunisia’s Prime Minister-designate Hichem Mechichi began on Tuesday his second round of negotiations to form the new government.

He met with representatives of Ennahda Movement, Heart of Tunisia (Qalb Tounes), and the Democratic Bloc, which represents the People’s Movement, the Democratic Current Party, and al-Karama coalition.

According to sources who took part in Tuesday’s meetings, Mechichi was briefed on the composition of the expected government coalition and the parties interested in participating in the next government.

In his first round of talks, Mechichi aimed at assessing the situation in general, including the necessary reforms in the economic and social fields.

During its meeting last weekend, Ennahda movement stressed its adherence to form a “national unity government that responds to the results of the parliamentary elections.”

Its position, however, contradicts with Mechichi’s. The Premier-designate affirmed on Monday that he would form a purely technocratic government, whose members are able to work in harmony to achieve its agenda.

Mechichi also explained that he wanted to deal with the parliament as an institution rather than a group of parties, noting that he would ask for support to implement an economic and social salvation program.

Head of the opposition Free Destourian Party Abir Moussa, who rejects the presence of Ennahda movement in the government coalition, said she is willing to meet with Mechichi on Wednesday.

Regarding the new round of talks with the designated prime minister, Head of Ennahda’s parliamentary bloc Noureddine al-Bhiri affirmed that negotiations are ongoing.

Bhiri pointed out that his meeting with Mechichi helped clarify his intention to form a technocratic government.

Meanwhile, some observers believe the next government will have to choose between solutions due to the deep differences in the level of political views of the parties participating in the talks.

The first is supporting the new coalition and granting it a vote of confidence, in accordance with a clearly defined agenda.

While the second solution lies in not granting it a vote of confidence and, instead, hold early elections, for which some parties, like Ennahda Movement, are highly prepared.

Ennahda’s parliamentary bloc has earlier announced forming a coalition of 120 deputies, which would later provide it with political influence in the parliament and allow it to take parliamentary and governmental decisions.

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