Tunisia: Conflict over government reshuffle – mass demonstrations in Tunis

In the power struggle with President Kais Saied, the Islamist Ennahda party ruling Tunisia brought numerous people to the streets to show solidarity. According to the Reuters news agency, tens of thousands of people from other regions of the country followed the Ennahda call for a demonstration in the capital Tunis.

The non-party Saied refuses to agree to a cabinet reshuffle proposed by Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi in January. Parliament has already approved this. The conflict paralyzes the government, which, in addition to the corona pandemic, is also grappling with a severe economic crisis.

President Saied complained that he had not been consulted in advance about the move and that some of the ministers-designate were suspected of corruption or that they were not suitable for government posts because of conflicts of interest. Mechichi had only taken over government last September.

Ennahda apparently wants to strengthen Mechichi

The Ennahda as well as the liberal Qalb Tounes party are behind the cabinet reshuffle. With the mass protests, the Ennahda seems to want to demonstrate its power and strengthen the non-party Mechichi. Tunisia had experienced “irresponsible behavior” for several months that was intended to “disrupt the democratic process,” the party said.

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