An increasing number of Ennahda Movement members have objected to Rached al-Ghannouchi’s intention to run for another term as its leader. More members have criticized his performance and called for his departure, saying he must respect Article 31 of the movement’s bylaws that prevent a candidate from running for president for more than two terms.
Leaks from within the movement confirmed that more and more members are demanding Ghannouchi’s departure. They now include half of Ennnahda’s parliamentary bloc, or about 26 out 52 MPs.
Another 13 deputies out of 100 Ennahda leaders also reject Ghannouchi’s run for another term. They include Noureddine Arabawi, Samir Dilou and Fathi Ayadi.
However, head of the Ennahda parliamentary bloc, Noureddine Bhiri, announced his support for Ghannouchi’s run for another term as president. He is set to declare his candidacy during the 11th conference of the movement, which is expected to take place at the end of the year.
Meanwhile, Riadh Chiabi, a former leader in the Ennahda, announced he was rejoining the movement.
Chiabi said he was setting differences aside in order to serve the public. He had resigned from the movement in 2018 citing personal reasons.
Some reports also indicated that former general secretary of Ennahda, Hamadi Jebali, was going to announce his return to the movement soon.
Member of the executive office, Khalil Baraoumi revealed that discussions are still ongoing with a number of resigned officials to persuade them to return to the movement, such as Jebali, Abdelhamid Jlassi and Zied Ladhari.
Baraoumi denied claims that Ghannouchi’s call for resigned leaders to return to the movement was aimed at harnessing support against a petition calling for his resignation.