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Tunisia's Ennahdha to withdraw support for Fakhfakh government

Fakhfakh has come under fire over alleged financial wrongdoing [Getty]

Date of publication: 15 July, 2020

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Tunisia's moderate Islamist party said it will withdraw support for government.
Tunisia's moderate Islamist party said Wednesday it will withdraw confidence in the current government, deepening a crisis within the political establishment.

Ennahdha, the biggest party in the parliament with 54 MPs, told Reuters that it had decided to pull support for the government over an alleged conflict of interest involving Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh.

It will look for support for a no confidence motion from its two main allies in parliament, Karama and Heart of Tunisia, needing 109 votes for it to pass.

"We adopted the option to withdraw confidence from the prime minister and mandates the party leader to follow up on the implementation of the decision," Ennahda official Imed Khmiri told Reuters.

Reports were published last month that allege Fakhfakh 
has shares in two companies that won contracts worth $15 million from the state.

Fakhfakh, who formed a government in February, denies he did anything improper
 and says he will step down as prime minister if he is proved of wrongdoing.

The Islamist party's decision to pull support for the government could sidestep Fakhfakh's bid to reshuffle his cabinet, which would likely see six Ennadha ministers lose their posts.

Tunisia is embroiled in a financial crisis, which has worsened after six months of coronavirus lockdowns and curfews.

Tunisia will ask four countries for delays on debt repayments, highlighting the grim state of the country's finances, Reuters reported.

Tunisians overthrew a regime led for decades by former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 and has become one of the more successful democracies in the Arab world.

The country, though, has been engulfed in a financial crisis, in part due to a downturn in tourism following a wave of terror attacks.

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