On Monday 2 February, PM Habib Essid announced a revised composition of his cabinet following lengthy negotiations with the main political parties represented in the National Assembly. Despite deep disagreement within Nidaa Tounes, Ennahdha was attributed the employment portfolio in addition to three other secretary-of-state posts, including the post for international cooperation. Ennahdha has demonstrated thereby that it remains a key player in the Tunisian political landscape. The hawkish wing within Nidaa Tounes led by Taieb Bekouche who worked hard to exclude Ennahdha from the cabinet had to surrender at the end to the realpolitik considerations of President Beji Caid Esebssi. Despite the fact that the government portfolio and posts attributed to Ennahdha do not reflect the size of its parliamentary seats (69), observers think that Rached Ghanouchi has scored a symbolic political victory, in that it made sure its conditions for entry into the new government were heard, i.e. independent PM, sovereign ministries headed by technocrats, and an Ennahdha presence in the government. With the current configuration, Ennahdha would find it less difficult to justify to its constituencies its support for the policies of a government dominated by Nidaa Tounes. All this comes within a context were Ennahdha followers feel that the Islamist movement is heading towards difficult times under the rule of Nidaa Tounes, especially after the suspension of a number of Islamist TV and radio stations last week, including the Zeitouna TV and Al Insan TV.


Posted by Editor