The Tunisian parliament began on Thursday a secret voting on no-confidence for Parliament Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi, the head of the parliament’s biggest party — Ennahda.

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

Blocs which 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”.

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 Free Constitutional Bloc, which holds 16 seats, announced it will also vote to remove Ghannouchi, raising 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 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.

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