Tunisia’s Ennahda keen to uphold consensus: Ghannouchi

By Yosra Ouanes

TUNIS (AA) – Rachid Ghannouchi, head of Tunisia’s Ennahda movement, says his group is keen on maintaining consensus among the country’s leading political forces.

In a Tuesday statement, the movement said it was ready “to cooperate with state institutions with a view to… creating a suitable environment for holding elections”.

Ennahda issued the statement following a meeting between Ghannouchi and President Beji Caid Essebsi.

Essebsi, for his part, reiterated his respect “for all Tunisian political forces, including Ennahda”.

Late Monday, the Nidaa Tounes party — established by Essebsi in 2012 — said the “consensus” that had existed since 2014 between Nidaa Tounes and Ennahda was “no more”.

"The current cabinet represents an Ennahda government; therefore, Nidaa Tounes can no longer support it,” the party declared in a statement.

Since early 2015, Nidaa Tounes (which currently holds 55 seats in parliament) has led a coalition government with Ennahda (68 seats).

Earlier this year, Nidaa Tounes suffered an internal crisis between party executive director Hafez Essebsi (who is also Essebsi’s son) and Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, with the two accusing each other of harming the party’s interests.