The ruling Ennahdha party will likely agree to install nonpartisan figures in key ministerial positions of the new government, and a proposal will be ready for review by President Moncef Marzouki no later than this coming Monday, Zoubeir Chehoudi, a member of Ennahdha’s Shura Council told Tunisia Live.
Talks over the long-awaited cabinet reshuffle among political parties have focused on whether or not the ministries of foreign affairs, justice, and the interior will be politically neutral.
“Ennahdha is with neutrality, but at the same time we have to know exactly what it means first,” Chehoudi said.
According to a Radio Kalima interview broadcast Wednesday, Rached Ghannouchi, the founder of the ruling Ennahdha party, has confirmed support of the neutrality of the three ministries.
“Even before the assassination of (Chokri) Belaid, Ennahdha agreed upon the neutrality of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and that the ruling coalition has to be broader,” Osama Al Saghir, a member of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) affiliated with Ennahdha, told Tunisia Live. But he added that, in his personal opinion, the push to politically neutralize ministries is an attempt “to prevent Ennahdha from winning in the coming elections.”
Junaid Abdeljawad, a member of the political board of Al Massar party, said his party is maintaining former Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali’s call for neutral ministries. He added that new Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh has affirmed the creation of a coalition government and that the Ministry of Interior, most importantly, must be politically neutral.
But according to Tarek el Abidi from Ettakatol, Ennahdha has not agreed on the neutrality of the Minister of Interior.
Rafiq Tlili from Wafa Movement added that his party has a recommendation for a candidate that would be a good match for the ministries of justice or the interior. He said this candidate is a leftist, independent national figure.
Following Laarayedh’s appointment as prime minister last Friday, he has 15 days to create a new ministerial cabinet.