Islamist media is reporting that the Ennhada Party, essentially the Muslim Brotherhood of Tunisia, will not participate in the new Tunisian government despite holding the second largest bloc of parliamentary seats. According to a Middle East Monitor report:
January 1, 2015 Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda movement, which holds the second most parliament seats, will not participate in the new government, a source from majority-holding Nidaa Tounis Party said Thursday.
‘The new government will include national figures backed by some parties and it won’t include any ministers from Ennahda,’ the source, requesting anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.
Observers say that there have been wide rejections within the centrist Nidaa Tounis Party regarding the inclusion of Ennahda in the upcoming cabinet.
Another source from Nidaa Tounis had said that the upcoming prime minister will not be a party member, describing the decision as a ‘message’ from newly-inaugurated President Beji Caid Essebsi, who had resigned from his party leadership after his swearing-in on Wednesday.
The Tunisian presidency had said that Essebsi formally asked party leader and Parliament Speaker Mohamed al-Nasser to nominate a candidate for prime minister.
The Nidaa Tounis Party, which describes itself as centrist, secured the most seats by a single party, clinching 86 seats in late October’s parliamentary election, while the Ennahda movement garnered 69 seats.
The GMBDW reported in October 2014 on the defeat of the Ennahda Party in the Tunisian parliamentary elections.
The Ennahda Party of Tunisia is headed by Rachid Ghannouchi (many spelling variations) who can best be described as an independent Islamist power center who is strongly tied to the Global Muslim Brotherhood. Egyptian writer Amany Maged presents his view of the relationship between the Ennahda party and Ghannouchi to the Global Muslim Brotherhood:
Al-Nahda Party’s articles of association do not declare a link to the Muslim Brotherhood, but nor has it denied the connection. Some sources maintain that it was ideologically and organisationally inspired by the Muslim Brotherhood, whereas others say that while Ghannouchi considers the Muslim Brotherhood an ally, he does not see it as having any authority, be it hierarchical or moral, over his own movement. Yet the fact remains that Ghannouchi, Al-Nahda’s founder, is a member of the International Guidance Bureau of the Muslim Brotherhood.Al-Nahda shares a number of traits with the Muslim Brotherhood. Both, says Islamist expert Ali Abdel-Aal, have a strong organisational capacity and access to substantial funds.
The UK-based Henry Jackson Society has published a report titled “Moderates or Manipulators? Tunisia’s Ennahda Islamists” detailing the extremist positions and statements of the Ennahda Party and Rachid Ghannouchi.