Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood To Join Government Despite Earlier Reports


Reuters is reporting that the new Tunisian cabinets will include members of the Tunisian Muslim Brotherhood despite earlier reports that they would not participate in the new government. According to the report:

February 5, 2015 (Reuters) – Tunisia’s parliament approved a coalition cabinet on Thursday including secularists, Islamists and smaller parties, in the latest step in its transition to full democracy following a 2011 uprising.

Four years after its uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia has been held up as an example of political compromise and democratic transition with new constitution and free elections.

The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Habib Essid, which includes members of the secularist Nidaa Tounes and the Islamist Ennahda party, was approved by 166 members of the 217-seat parliament.

Nidaa Tounes member Slim Chaker was named finance minister, and Taib Baccouche, also from Nidaa Tounes, will be foreign minister. Ennahda was given employment ministry and several other junior minister posts.

Essid’s new government will have to push through tough economic reforms demanded by Tunisia’s international lenders and continue a campaign against Islamist militants. Tunisia is also a major source of jihadi fighters traveling to Syria

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The GMBDW reported in January that the Ennhada Party, essentially the Muslim Brotherhood of Tunisia, was not expected to participate in the new Tunisian government despite holding the second largest bloc of parliamentary 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.

1163 Ennahda
Ennahda Party

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