Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement on Saturday denounced calls for excluding it from the next government, saying such attempts seek to serve “suspicious foreign agendas”.

“Ennahda denounces calls to exclude the movement from the political and governmental scene in service of suspicious foreign agendas,” it said in a statement issued following a meeting of the movement’s executive office.

The Democratic Movement, which has 22 seats in parliament, and the People’s Movement, which has 14 seats, have called for forming a government without the participation of the Ennahda movement.

Ennahda, which is the largest bloc in parliament with 54 seats, said it is “open to various parties and democratic blocs to accelerate the formation of the government given the sensitivity of the current economic, social, and security phase of the country”.

Ennahda has nominated Fadhel Abdelkefi and Mohamed Khayyam Al-Turki to the country’s president Kais Saied to form a new government.

Al-Turki is a businessman and former leader of the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties while Abdelkefi was a former minister of development, investment and international cooperation in 2016 in the government of Youssef Chahed.

On July 15, Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh resigned after over 100 lawmakers pushed for a no-confidence vote against him.

Since Feb. 27, Fakhfakh had chaired a coalition government that included Ennahda, the Democratic Movement, People’s Movement, Hayat Tunis Movement and National Reform Bloc.

* Bassel Barakat contributed to this report from Ankara

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