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Tunisia's Ennahda Rejects the New Cabinet

Tunisia's Ennahda Rejects the New Cabinet

Friday, 15 October, 2021 - 10:00
Demonstrations in support of President Kais Saied (Reuters)

The Islamist Ennahda Movement, Tunisia's largest party, rejected the new cabinet formed by Najla Bouden, citing "constitutional violations" during its formation.

The movement described the cabinet as "a de facto government, and the government of the unconstitutional order 117," in reference to the order issued by President Kais Saied, which suspended most articles of the constitution to monopolize the executive and legislative powers, according to his critics.

Ennahda said losing legitimacy will increase the government's challenges and obstacles in dealing with national affairs and international partners.

The movement and its allies in the suspended parliament accuse the President of plotting a coup against the constitution and monopolizing powers.

Saied said he resorted to Article 80 of the constitution to declare exceptional measures, protect the state from "imminent danger," and fulfill the people's will.

Meanwhile, Saied withdrew the diplomatic passport of former President Moncef Marzouki after he demanded that France ends its support for Tunisia under Saied's leadership.

Days ago, Marzouki participated in a demonstration in Paris against Saied, during which he had urged French decision-makers "not to endorse a totalitarian system."

In an interview with France 24, Marzouki also admitted that he sought to cancel the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) summit, which was scheduled in Tunisia next November before the organization decided to postpone it.

Saeid also ordered the termination of duties of Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi and other advisers.

The dismissal orders were published in the Official Gazette and included the chief of staff and four other advisors.

Meanwhile, lawmaker Seifeddine Makhlouf began a hunger strike in prison in protest against the decisions of the military judiciary.

Makhlouf, head of the Dignity Coalition, was arrested in two cases relating to the "airport events" and assaulting a military judge.

A military court rejected Makhlouf's defense's request to keep him on parole.

He said in a statement published by the Coalition that he remains on strike until this "military judicial farce is stopped," accusing the President of pressuring the judiciary.

Makhlouf is one of the fiercest critics of the President. He opposed the exceptional measures and the suspension of parliament, among other procedures.

He was involved in the incidents at Carthage International Airport between MPs of the Dignity Coalition and the security forces after they prevented a female passenger from going to Turkey for security reasons linked to terrorism.

Makhlouf was arrested on September 21 for insulting a military judge.

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