Tunisia’s divided parliament makes an attempt to decide on a speaker


TUNIS (Information) – Tunisia’s new parliament opened on Wednesday with a session to elect a speaker, a process prone to show troublesome in a deeply divided chamber however which can present perception into wider efforts to type a authorities.

Tunisia’s new parliament members take an oath in Tunis, Tunisia November 13, 2019. Information/Zoubeir Souissi

The reasonable Islamist Ennahda got here first in final month’s election, however took solely 52 of 217 seats forcing it to compromise to win majority assist for its most well-liked speaker and prime minister.

Nevertheless, its efforts to construct a coalition with a number of rival events have to this point come to nothing and Tunisia continues with a caretaker authorities beneath the prevailing prime minister, Youssef Chahed.

Wednesday’s election for speaker represents an enormous take a look at for Ennahda, which was banned earlier than Tunisia’s 2011 revolution however has since performed an enormous position in a number of coalition governments.

It has nominated its veteran chief Rached Ghannouchi, who ran for elected workplace for the primary time in final month’s vote, however he faces competitors from two rival politicians.

Tunisia’s post-revolution structure splits energy between the newly elected President Kais Saied and a authorities that passes laws by way of the parliament.

Friday is the deadline for Ennahda, as the most important get together in parliament, to call its nominee for prime minister, beginning the clock on a two-month course of for that particular person to type a authorities.

Ennahda has negotiated with the Attayar get together and the Achaab get together to win assist for Ghannouchi as speaker earlier than beginning formal coalition talks.

Nevertheless, they’ve refused to again Ghannouchi except Ennahda first agrees with them on an impartial nominee for prime minister and Attayar is fielding its personal candidate, senior get together official Gazi Chaouachi, for the publish of speaker.

“In the event that they don’t assist us at present in parliament, Attayar and Achaab events will possible be exterior the following coalition authorities,” stated Imed Khmiri, a senior Ennahda official.

That would depart Ennahda looking for assist elsewhere, presumably from the Coronary heart of Tunisia get together led by media magnate Nabil Karoui, the defeated candidate in final month’s presidential election.

It and Ennahda have introduced themselves as ideological rivals and have each beforehand dominated out getting into into coalition. Nevertheless, sources stated Coronary heart of Tunisia was contemplating backing Ghannouchi as parliament speaker.

Reporting By Tarek Amara; Modifying by Angus McDowall and Gareth Jones