23 February 2013

Tunisia: Coalition to Be Extended From Three to Five Parties Ghannouchi

Tunis — Ennahdha Leader Rached Ghannouchi said that the government coalition will be extended from 3 to 5 political parties after Wafa Movement and parliamentary group Liberty and Dignity had joined the ruling Troika (Ennahdha, Ettakatol and Congress for the Republic party).

In a statement to TAP news agency, he said that consultations are underway between the five members of the coalition on the line-up of the next cabinet, adding that the neutrality of sovereign ministries (the Interior Ministry, the Foreign Ministry and the Justice Ministry) and whether the new government members should stand for next elections have not been settled yet.

Ghannouchi also expressed the care of Ennahdha and its allies to have the Interior and Defence Ministries shielded from "political frictions" stressing that security considerations accounted for the choice of Ali Larayedh as successor of Hamadi Jebali.

As regards next elections, Ghannouchi expressed hope that they will be held next October "in agreement with the National Constituent Assembly (NCA), and political parties and after drafting the relevant laws".

He stressed the need to set up an independent election authority that will be reinforced with monitoring mechanisms to ensure transparency and credibility of the elections.

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