AL KARM, Tunisia, July 13, 2012 (AFP) -
AL KARM, Tunisia, July 13, 2012 (AFP) –
The head of Tunisia’s ruling Islamist Ennahda told AFP on Friday his party’s first congress would consider a government reshuffle and enlarging the government coalition.
“We are evaluating the performance of the government that has been in place for the past six months for information that could lead to a change of ministers or portfolios, even enlarging the coalition to include other parties,” Rached Ghannouchi said on day two of the Ennahda party conference.
He said such a move could make the government, which has been headed by Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali since January 2011, more efficient.
The parliamentary opposition has called for a government of national salvation, whereas Ennahda members make up around half of the current cabinet.
The other portfolios are shared between by two centre-left parties, the Congress for the Republic (CPR) of President Moncef Marzouki and Ettakatol.
Ennahda is seeking at the congress to clarify its strategy against a backdrop of political and religious tensions.
The gathering is being held at a congress centre in Al Karm, a Tunis suburb, that had in the past served to host meetings of toppled president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s now disbanded party.
It is the party’s first congress since it came to power following Ben Ali’s ouster in protests that touched off the 2011 Arab Spring.
On Wednesday, Ghannouchi reiterated in an online interview that the party wanted to present itself as a “moderate Islamist movement” promising “hope and prosperity” to Tunisian men and women.
Established in June 1981 by Ghannouchi and a group of intellectuals inspired by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, Ennahda (Renaissance) was banned by Ben Ali after a major electoral success in 1989, and its leaders jailed or forced into exile.