Rifts arise within Tunisia's monolithic Ennahdha

Mass resignations and criticism from hardline faction

25 November, 17:13

    (ANSAmed) - TUNIS, NOVEMBER 25 - Government majority party Ennahdha, which until Sunday had seemed resistant to all external pressures and endowed with full support for its leader, Rached Ghannouchi, seems to have suffered an unexpected internal upheaval. Members of a regional district have resigned in mass and violent criticism has been directed at its representatives in the government.

    After showing itself to be 'monolithic' and managing to keep any friction and ideological battles restricted to within, Ennahdha now seems to have taken a more embattled turn. The news of a mass resignation by the entire political office of Gafsa - the Tunisian mining district that has long served as a robust reserve of votes and support for the moderate Islamist party - was announced by National Spokesman Zied Ladhari, who was thus able to give the party's version of the events and prevent any uncomfortable interpretations. The announcement by the Gafsa leaders - who resigned in sharp disagreement with the decisions made by party leaders - are not the first in Ennahdha. However, their significance at the political level is enormous, and Ladhari has voiced hope that they will be brought back into the fold. The resignations mean that Ennahdha's outer fringes are overtly critical of the positions taken by the national leaders in Tunis, and - especially - harbor suspicions about the latest political decisions of a party that seems too concerned with managing power and too distant from the population itself.

    Criticism is also coming from the hardliners within the party's leadership, who have long held that Ennahdha's rule was an expression of divine will. Lotfi Zitoun, Ennahdha member and former part of the Hamadi Jebali government as well as head of the party's hardline faction, has accused the government of populism - especially as concerns the 2014 budget law it is in the process of drawing up, which they see as being excessively hard on the middle classes. Zitoun made direct reference to Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh, second-in-command of the party and also among its right-wing faction. It is unclear what direction the situation will take in the short term, since though Zitoun is lashing out at the decision-making core of the party, after two days of talks the Shura Council (the central governing committee) came up with a document supporting national dialogue, looking outside of the party instead of dealing with tensions within it. (ANSAmed).

    © Copyright ANSA - All rights reserved

    Business opportunities

    The information system of business
    opportunities abroad

    News from Mediterranean