Tunisia's Ennahdha slams 'unconstitutional' nomination of PM

Tunisia's Ennahdha slams 'unconstitutional' nomination of PM
2 min read
30 September, 2021
President Kais Saied's nomination of a prime minister has been described by Tunisia's Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party as "unconstitutional".
Saied has been accused of conducting a coup [Getty]

Tunisia's Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party on Thursday slammed President Kais Saied's nomination of a prime minister by decree as "unconstitutional" and warned the move would deepen crises in the country.

Saied on Wednesday named geologist Najla Bouden as the country's first female premier, two months after he sacked the Ennahdha-backed government of Hichem Mechichi and suspended parliament, before moving last week to install rule by decree.

Ennahdha warned that "the nomination of a head of government outside the constitution and on the basis of an unconstitutional presidential decree can only deepen the economic and social crises facing the country," the party said.

Ennahdha, the biggest party in the now-suspended assembly, stressed in a statement on its Facebook page that it "holds Tunisian women in high esteem and salutes their struggle for freedom and equality".

But it demanded "the resumption of the democratic process" and the annulment of Saied's decree last week which strengthened his powers at the expense of the premiership and parliament, essentially allowing him to issue executive orders and pass laws by decree.

The Islamist-inspired party called for the next government to be granted "constitutional legitimacy by being put it to a parliamentary vote of confidence, as is written in the constitution in any case."

Tunisia has been mired in political turmoil, legislative deadlock and economic crisis since the 2011 revolution that overthrew dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

It has been praised internationally for its democratic transition, but many Tunisians have seen little improvement in living standards and welcomed Saied's July 25 power grab, widely seen as a blow against Ennahdha. 

That came amid deep internal divisions that saw more than 100 members of Ennahdha including leading figures announced their resignation on Saturday, over "bad choices" by their chief that had deepened the country's political crisis.

But on Sunday more than 2,000 people demonstrated in central Tunis to demand a return to the 2014 constitution and Saied's resignation, accusing him of "stealing" the 2011 revolution.