'Victory for Democracy': Tunisia parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi survives no confidence vote

'Victory for Democracy': Tunisia parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi survives no confidence vote
Rached Ghannouchi, leader of Tunisian Ennahdha Party, will stay on as parliament speaker.
2 min read
30 July, 2020
Ghannouchi has survived a no-confidence vote [Getty]
Tunisia Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi has survived a critical no-confidence vote, hailing the event as a victory for the country's democratic process.

Supporters of the no-confidence vote failed to garner the support of the 107 MPs needed to oust the speaker, with 97 lawmakers backing the motion.

Ghannouchi's Islamist Ennahda Party and its ally Karama boycotted the vote with the speaker only receiving the formal support of 16 MPs.

The win was still a significant achievement for Ennahda, the latest in a series of challenges against the Tunisian parliament's biggest party, a campaign which some believe is anti-democratic in nature and backed by hostile foreign powers.

"Today is a victory for democracy and for the revolution which gave us freedom. We pray for the souls of the martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Tunisia's freedom and democracy," Ghannouchi said in response to the vote, according to Ennahdha's Twitter page.

The slim victory for Ghannouchi could see Ennahda, which the speaker heads, face further attacks in parliament, Thomas Reuters has suggested.

It comes after the head of Ennahda's parliamentary wing, Noureddine Al-Beheiri, alleged that the UAE was seeking to bribe MPs to vote against Ghannouci.

Although no proof of these allegations has been brought forward yet, Ghannouhi has been repeatedly attacked by UAE and Saudi media, including one claim that the politician had a fortune of $1 billion or more.

His real wealth was revealed to be a KIA car, his Tunis home and an MP's salary, TRT reported.

The UAE has been accused of attempting to topple democratic movements and governments in the region, with Tunisia viewed as the Arab Spring's biggest success story.

It has also been vulnerable to economic downturns, including the repeated knocks its vital tourism sector has received in recent years.

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