Tunisia: the leader of the Islamist party Ennahdha would not run for president

The leader of the Islamic movement Ennahdha (the Renaissance), majority party in the Tunisian parliament and main ally in power, Rached Ghannouchi. Photo: The Middle East Eye

NEWSROOM (ADV) – The leader of the Islamic movement Ennahdha (the Renaissance), majority party in the Tunisian parliament and main ally in power, Rached Ghannouchi said Saturday not to be concerned by the race for the presidential elections scheduled for the end of the current year.

“Unlike the 2014 elections, the party will propose a candidate from outside the movement,” Ghannouchi said on the sidelines of a rally that commemorates the 8th anniversary of the January 14, 2011 uprising.

“I have no ambition to run for the 2019 presidential elections,” he said.

For several months, a controversy continues to feed in Tunisia following the statements of some leaders of the first rank of Ennahdha, such as MPs Noureddine Mekki and Yamina Zoghlami, on a possible candidacy of Mr. Ghannouchi in the presidential election of 2019.

These two deputies had repeatedly confirmed that Mr. Ghannouchi wants to be a “flagship” candidate of the Ennahdha movement.

Referring to the current mission of the government of Youssef Chahed, the leader of Ennahdha did not mince the words to invite the head of the Tunisian government “to focus on the real problems of the country and to avoid as much manipulation of the institutions of the ‘State for electoral calculations’.

The Ennahdha movement holds until the end of 2018 the first position in terms of number of deputies under the umbrella of the Assembly of People’s Representatives (Parliament) with 69 deputies, ahead of the party Nida Tounes (party in power) which has 46 deputies.

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