TUNIS

Tunisian Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi is facing a no-confidence vote on Thursday, which was pushed for by four political blocs.

The vote will determine Ghannouchi’s position in parliament and his political role in the country and whether he will continue his term (2020-2024).

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”.

It needs 109 votes out of 217 to withdraw confidence from Ghannouchi, which poses a challenge to the four blocs that championed the vote.

The blocs that announced that they would vote to withdraw confidence from Ghannouchi are: the Democratic Bloc (the Democratic Current and People’s Movement) (38 seats), Tahya Tounes Bloc (10 seats), the National Reform Bloc (16 seats) and the National Bloc (11 seats).

The Free Constitutional Bloc, which holds 16 seats, announced it will also vote to remove Ghannouchi, increasing the potential votes to 91, which still remains 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 of 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.

*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat

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