27 February 2013

Tunisia: Ennahda to Surrender Sovereign Ministries

Tunisia's ruling Ennahda party on Wednesday (February 27th) agreed to give up key ministries to independents.

"We confirm the 'neutralisation' of the four sovereign ministries," AFP quoted Ennahda party leader Rachid Ghannouchi as telling Radio Kalima.

The politician had previously declared that the ruling Islamist party would "never give up power" secured through "the legitimacy of the ballot".

Ennahda has controlled the interior, justice and foreign ministries since Tunisia's first free elections in October 2011.The defence portfolio is already in the hands of an independent, Abdelkarim Zbidi.

"We see that it is in the interests of the Tunisian government, in the transitional period and for the period to come, to bring together Islamists and secularists... even though we are the majority," Ghannouchi said.

Ennahda's secular partners - Ettakatol and the Congress for the Republic - had called for the ruling party to relinquish the sovereign ministries.

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