EXCLUSIVE: Tunisia, Rachid Ghannouchi more isolated

The growing popularity of the President of the Tunisian Republic, Kais Saied, who yesterday was cheered by a crowd of travelers and employees during his surprise visit to the Tunis Carthage airport, is putting the local Islamist party Ennahdha increasingly in difficulty. If it is too early to talk about the death of the Muslim Brotherhood in the North African country, indeed, the Ennahdha movement is plunging into an identity crisis.

In particular, the Tunisian Muslim brothers accuse Rachid Ghannouchi of the problems that Ennahdha is experiencing. And the leadership of the movement appears increasingly confused. Yesterday, Monday, the Shura Council met again after having charged a committee to manage the political crisis and the decline in consensus among Tunisians who rally around Kais Saied. Suffice it to see that the Facebook page of the Presidency of the Republic has reached over six million followers in recent weeks, over half of the entire population of the young Republic.

Another blow to Ghannouchi has come from the Shura Council of Islamists. Forty-nine leaders of Ennahdha and members of the Shura council signed a withdrawal motion of confidence against the council’s head Abdelkarim Harouni, the right-hand man of the President of the parliament, frozen by Kais Saied on 25 July. According to the signatories, under Harouni’s presidency, the Ennahdha Shura Council became an instrument in Ghannouchi’s hands, effectively losing its decision-making independence.

The Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood also blamed Harouni for “his miscommunications,” which were harmful to the party, filing the motion as soon as they reach the quorum required by the party’s internal regulations. Last week, controversy had already arisen over a statement’s publication signed by Ghannouchi without the approval of the leaders of the extremist party.

On Monday afternoon, the head of State Kaïs Saïed made a surprise visit to the airport of the capital Tunis, denying the rumors of Islamists who complained about the lack of freedom of movement for Tunisians. Saied stopping with the travelers and taking pictures with them confirmed that Tunisia is a liberal country. Only those under investigation or criminal proceedings cannot leave. The President also sat with the border police station officers. According to union security sources, the head of State gave clear instructions to the police officers. He praised their efforts to enforce the law for all, without discrimination, within the framework of respect for human rights and individual freedoms.

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