Tunisia requires national salvation government, says parliament speaker Ghannouchi's adviser

Tunisia requires national salvation government, says parliament speaker Ghannouchi's adviser
Rached Ghannouchi's special adviser revealed that the Ennahda Party 'was prepared to go into opposition' and acknowledged both its failures and successes.
3 min read
29 July, 2021
Ghannouchi's special adviser's remarks follow what has been considered a presidential 'coup' [Anadolu/Getty]

An adviser to Tunisia's parliamentary speaker, Rached Ghannouchi, who also leads the Islamist Ennadha Party, has called for a government of national salvation to prevent the country from descending into turmoil.

This follows the emergency political actions taken by President Kais Saied on Sunday, which have been widely criticised as being a "coup".

That day, he suspended the country's parliament and dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi.

Ghannouchi's Ennahda faction is a member of the suspended coalition government and the largest party in the legislature.

His special adviser, Sami Al-Tariqi, issued a statement about Ennahda and the country's path forward The New Arab's Arabic-language sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, reported on Thursday.

He said the Islamist party will work with Saied, acknowledging that the constitutional law professor was voted in by Tunisians.

This is despite the leader of Ennahda accusing the president of conducting "a coup against the constitution" soon after he made his move.

The special adviser also said: "The Tunisian situation is different, it is not like in Egypt or any other country, but it's a Tunisian situation with its own peculiarities, and there is an elected parliament."

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He urged every political faction to come together constructively.

Al-Tariqi noted: "What was going on wasn't the way things should be done, and there was hope after the Saied-Ghannouchi meeting that a consensus could be reached".

However, while Ennahda "understands" this situation contributed to what happened, that "of course doesn’t justify the measures the president took".

He acknowledged there are "many challenges facing the country" but said Ennahda is willing to engage with others to rescue the country and establish a government of national salvation.

The special adviser insisted that "the new government must go through parliament's ratification", again emphasising the party's willingness to cooperate with others on this front.

Despite this, he did not indicate whether the party would be back in control of the reins of government.

He said: "Ennahda had a clear vision, has announced its stance to the public, and was prepared to go into opposition", acknowledging both its failures and successes.

"Saving the country is the top priority now."

The adviser said the upcoming parliamentary recess could provide a chance for developments with Saied.

Al-Tariqi criticised both the previous government - which he said was poorly structured - and PM Mechichi for not fulfilling their responsibilities, although he admitted the party continues to back the premier.

"There was a problem that accelerated the need for a change of government," Al-Tariqi said.

The comments follow the sacking of the chief of state broadcaster Wataniya.