Leading Tunisian party holds huge rally as government row grows

A protest erupted with the backing of the Ennahda movement against the President, in demand of strong institutions and democracy.

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Amid the economic downplay and disillusion of democracy, the biggest opposition party in Tunisia, the Ennahda Movement, gathered a huge crowd in the capital city Tunis, which ignited the dispute between the President and Prime Minister further. The mob vocalized in the center of the capital with the slogans “the people want to protect institutions!” and “the people want national unity!”. The leader of the Ennahda Movement, Rachid Ghannouchi, has receded Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi in contradiction to President Kais Saied’s decision to shuffle the cabinet.

The ban on the Ennahda Movement was lifted after the revolution, and currently holds a major presence in the assembly. “Nationalists, Islamists, democrats and communists,” Ghannouchi told the crowd, and “we were gathered together during the dictatorship … and we must unite again”. With the failure of the 2019 parliamentary election, Hichem Mechichi was nominated for the seat of Prime Minister by President Saied. The relations between Mechichi and Saied took a downturn when Mechichi replaced 11 allies of Saied with members of the Ennahda Movement and The Heart of Tunisia in the cabinet, which the President refused to swear in. With the march, the demand was also made by foreign lenders for spending cuts, which could lead to unpopular reductions in state programs opposed by the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT).

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