Tunisia’s Ennahda party’s Rached Ghannouchi maintained his position as the parliament speaker after no-confidence vote session failed to secure majority on Thursday.
Ennahda MPs now celebrate failure of no-confidence vote against their leader as the results allow Ghannouchi to continue his term of 2020-2024.
Earlier Thursday, the Tunisian parliament began a secret voting on no-confidence for Parliament Speaker Ghannouchi, the head of the parliament’s biggest party — Ennahda.
Blocs which had announced they would vote to withdraw confidence from Ghannouchi include the Democratic Bloc (the Democratic Current and People’s Movement) with 38 seats, Tahya Tounes Bloc with 10, the National Reform Bloc 16, and the National Bloc with 11 seats.
The four blocs attribute their position to what they call “individually taken decisions by the speaker without consulting the Parliament Office [the assembly’s highest body], and issuing statements regarding Tunisia’s foreign relations that contradict with the orientation of the Tunisian diplomacy”.
The blocs failed to secure 109 votes out of 217 to withdraw confidence from Ghannouchi, which was a challenge to the four blocs that championed the vote.
The Free Constitutional Bloc, which holds 16 seats, had announced it would also vote to remove Ghannouchi, which would have raised the potential votes to 91, though still remained below the required majority.
On Friday, Ghannouchi said: “I am confident that it will be a moment to renew confidence in me as speaker of parliament and to re-endorse me.”
“I did not come to the presidency of the parliament by a tank, but I came through election,” Ghannouchi said expressing his confidence on having the majority.
On Friday, the Parliament Office approved that the no-confidence vote would be confidential and without deliberations or public debate among the deputies.
* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara
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