The political bureau of the Ettakatol party decided yesterday, January 17, during an emergency meeting under the chairmanship of its secretary general, Mustapha Ben Jaafar, that the party may consider withdrawing from the ruling Troïka coalition if certain conditions are not met, said party spokesperson Mohamed Bennour to Tunisia Live.
“The political bureau decided to keep all options open, including that of a withdrawal from the government,” stated Bennour.
“We are not satisfied with the Troïka’s way of governing and its manner of negociating and taking decisions. We look forward to the government changing its policy after the next cabinet reshuffle takes place,” he continued.
Ettakatol blames the government for its tendency to leave out the party in instances of critical decisionmaking, said Bennour, who mentioned the conditions under which Ettakatol would remain in the Troïka.
“Our two main conditions are: effective participation in the new government, which is to consult us in its decisionmaking, and the involvement of as many political parties as possible in the next cabinet reshuffle,” he asserted.
For Bennour, these two criteria are essential for there to be a national dialogue between all ruling and opposition parties.
Others in Tunisia’s political scene see the announcement as merely an attempt to apply pressure on the government.
Abdelkader Ben Khamis, a NCA member belonging to the Democratic Bloc, believed that Ettakatol is seeking to maintain its presence in the new government through this declaration and not lose any of its ministerial posts.
“I do not think that Ettakatol can really withdraw from the government. Leaving the Troïka is suicide for the party. They are just putting pressure on the government to keep their positions,” argued Ben Khamis.
Ajmi Lourimi, a member in the executive bureau of the Ennahdha party, stated that Bennour’s statements do not reflect the real situation of what is happening between the three political parties inside the ruling coalition.
“These declarations are just statements for media consumption. There is no need to exaggerate because we consider that the current experience of the coalition has been a succesful one and that the coordinating administration is making decisions by consulting Ettakatol in everything,” stated Lourimi.
The cabinet reshuffle – originally scheduled for this past January 14 – was postponed due to continued negotiations within the Troïka over the distribution of posts as well as consultations with outside parties to expand the ruling coalition.