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The government's predicament in Tunisia ... Ennahda maneuvered and the president threatens to dissolve parliament


Khamis bin Brik - Tunisia

Tunisia is experiencing an unprecedented political deadlock, not only because of the disruption in the formation of the government since the results of the legislative elections were announced more than three months ago, but also because of inconsistencies in positions and interpretations about the constitution between President Qais Said and the majority-winning Ennahdha movement in Parliament.

This is an example of the conflict between the president-elect by about three million votes and the Al-Nahda movement that won the last legislative elections (54 seats out of a total of 217), while the president seeks to oversee the formation of the government, Al-Nahda is trying to pull the rug from him, according to observers.

The head of the Ennahda Movement and Parliament Speaker Rashid Ghannouchi criticized the president, saying that he was right in appointing Elias Al-Fakhfakh as the Prime Minister in charge of forming the government after the failure of Al-Nahdhah candidate, former Prime Minister-designate Habib al-Gamli, to gain the confidence of Parliament last month.

Traps in front of a political and constitutional impasse (Al-Jazeera)

Motion and criticism
However, it seems that the Tunisian president, who is a professor of constitutional law, adheres to his right to control the formation of the government in accordance with Chapter 89 of the Constitution, in turn, veiled criticism of the Ennahda Movement because of its announcement of the refusal to give confidence to the government of the phases as the constitutional deadline approaches.

While the head of the Ennahda movement bloc, Noureddine Al-Behairi, suggested the possibility of refusing to give confidence to the government of the traps and his party's resort to activating Chapter 97 of the constitution and withdrawing confidence from the caretaker government headed by Youssef Al-Shahid to regain the initiative, Saeed went out of his silence, declaring his refusal to do so.

Saeed said after his meeting today, Monday, with Prime Minister-designate Elias Al-Fakhakh. The search for withdrawing confidence from the caretaker government, Youssef El-Shahid, is considered an act outside the scope of the constitution, as it is a government that derives from a previous parliament and is not a government responsible to the current parliament.

Rulings and interpretations
The same thing was confirmed during his meeting today also with Parliament Speaker Rashid Ghannouchi and head of the caretaker government Yusef al-Shahid, considering that the text of the constitution is clear in this regard, and that Chapter 89 is to be applied in relation to the formation of the government.

He stressed the necessity of resorting to the constitution alone and avoiding "interpretations and fatwas that are not innocent or based on scientific grounds," and warned of the danger of "going beyond the constitution in the name of the constitution."

Waving the dissolution of Parliament
Saeed said that if the government to be presented to parliament does not gain confidence, then "dissolving parliament and resorting to the people will be the sovereign who grants them to whomever he wants and withdraw them from whom he will and has the final say", calling on everyone to take responsibility in this critical and challenging historical stage.

Before that, Saeed made veiled criticism of Al-Nahda because of its announcement that its ministers had withdrawn from the government proposed by Elias Al-Fakhfakh and directed to topple his government in parliament, saying that "Tunisia is above all circumstantial considerations and deals that are concluded in the dark."

"Maneuver under the mantle of the constitution cannot pass," he said after meeting the Secretary-General of the Tunisian Labor Union (the largest trade union organization) and the head of the Tunisian Federation of Industry and Trade (the Employers' Organization).

Spirit of the constitution
But the head of the Ennahda Movement bloc, Noureddine Al-Behairi, tells Al-Jazeera Net that his party has not deviated from the spirit of the constitution, and that his executive office is studying all options, including activating Chapter 97 of the constitution to withdraw confidence from the witness’s government and assigning a new prime minister to avoid the governmental vacuum.

He said that his party is moving within the confines of respecting the constitution and that he is in the process of consulting with experts of constitutional law on the possibility of activating Chapter 97, noting that this measure avoids remaining in a government vacuum, as well as the dissolution of Parliament and the return of legislative elections in the event of failure to give confidence to the government of the traps.

He pointed out that his party did not reject the ministerial formation presented by Elias Al-Fakhfakh, last Saturday, for personal reasons, but for objective reasons related to the adherence of the Ennahda movement to the principle of forming a national unity government that includes the Heart Party of Tunisia and the Dignity Coalition, which Fakhfakh refused to share.

Possibility of dissolving parliament is contained if the trap government does not gain confidence (networking sites)

Abuse and guarantees
On the other hand, the leader of the Democratic Current Party, Arabi Al-Jalasi, says that Al-Nahdha’s announcement that it aims to activate Chapter 97 of the constitution is “arbitrariness and manipulation of the constitution,” stressing that in the event that the Pvt government does not obtain the confidence of parliament, parliament will be constitutionally dissolved and early elections organized.

He added to Al-Jazeera Net that the ball is now in the Al-Nahda movement to vote for or reject the government, expressing his surprise at its refusal to participate in the government despite its representation by many ministers under the pretext of not engaging the Heart of Tunisia party, which built its electoral campaign to exclude it.

From the viewpoint of Professor of Constitutional Law, Jawhar bin Mubarak, President Saeed is the only guarantor of respect for the constitution in the absence of the Constitutional Court, stressing that the constitutional path for forming a government cannot come out of the umbrella of Chapter 89, or what is known as the President’s government.

He explained that Chapter 89 is an integrated path that extends to 4 months, and that the end of this path without ratification of the government leads in the end to dissolve parliament and hold new elections.

Conflict of Positions
For his part, the media and political analyst Mohamed Bouaoud told Al Jazeera Net that the Ennahda movement could no longer call for the activation of Chapter 97 of the constitution, withdraw confidence from the witness’s government, and assign a new prime minister after the Tunisian president broke his silence and rejected what he considered an act outside the constitution.

The promises of this inconsistency in the attitudes between Tunisian President Qais Said and the Ennahda Movement are due to the existence of a "legal conflict" between the president who won millions of votes and the leader of the Ennahda movement Rashid Ghannouchi, who, according to him, seeks to control the political game, especially after its presidency of the Tunisian parliament.

He said that this hidden conflict between Saeed and Ghannouchi appeared to the public recently after a series of criticisms that Ghannouchi directed to the president due to the lack of participation in the Berlin conference on Libya, as well as the commissioning of Elias Al-Fakhfakh to form the government despite the latter not having a comfortable majority in Parliament.

Source: aljazeera

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