After Excluding Tunisia’s Muslim Brotherhood influence, Ennahda seems helpless

All the speeches that took place during the session of granting confidence to the new government, especially those of the Ennahda and Karama Coalition MPs, were centered on criticizing President Qais Saeed and accusing him of making unilateral decisions without approval by the parliament.

That criticism by Ennahda bloc indicates that the political dispute between Saeed and the Ennahda Movement, close to the Muslim Brotherhood, has escalated recently, where both parties exchange accusations, including treason.

This clash predicts that in the next phase new alliances may automatically be created between the president and political forces that oppose political Islam. The features of that alliance have already begun to shape and its elements begun to gather.

Tunisian politicians said that Saeed has a brilliant opportunity playing his cards and reveal the terrorist schemes of the Muslim Brotherhood in Tunisia.

During the inauguration of a military hospital in the southern governorate of Kebili, Qais Saeed accused the Ennahda movement of plundering public funds, describing their policies of the organization’s leader, Rashid Ghannouchi, as a failure to manage public affairs.

“People are always able to withdraw the proxy from those who betrayed their trust,” he added, wondering what happened with the people’s money that was looted over ten years and the billions pumped out on the day of the elections.

That statement created a new crisis between the Tunisian president and Rashid Ghannouchi, where disputes have escalated in an unprecedented way.

A Quarrel between Saeed and Ghannouchi

Political analysts believe that this quarrel between them is motivated by the desire of each one to be the sole leader of the political scene and determine the orientations of the country’s major options.

The deep differences between them emerged clearly on thorny issues, such as their different position on the Libyan conflict, the issue of Tunisian national security, the security leaders and the diplomatic team and Tunisia’s foreign policies.

Saeed and the Ennahda movement stand on opposite ends with regard to the political system, as Saeed rejects the system of parties established after 2011, especially the Ennahda movement.

Some sources close to President Saeed’s advisory team said that the divergence of views reached the point of sharp disagreement over appointing security leaders in the Ministry of the Interior and in sensitive positions related to anti-terrorism units.

The same sources said that Saeed wants to appoint leaders, who have expertise in combating terrorism, rather than appointing people with only political loyalties.

According to analysts, that decision is not in favor of the movement that works behind its secret apparatus, which was exposed by the defense committee of the late Shukri Belaid and Mohamed Brahmi, both assassinated in 2013.

The difference was deepened by media reports revealing a secret meeting, which brought together the Director of the Presidential Office, Nadia Okasha, with security leaders who were frozen by the MB Minister Ali Al-Arrayed in 2013.

That meeting increased the fears of the Ennahda movement, as Saeed could play a significant political role in the near future, closing the door for Ghannouchi’s suspicious strategies.

Ennahda Attempts to Control State Institutions

The MB Ennahda Movement attempts to control the Tunisian Ministry of Interior in order to cover evidence of political assassinations.

However, the MB has failed in creating a puppet of former President Monsif al-Marzouki, obedient for Ghannouchi’s political desires.

Observers of the Tunisian situation believe that Saead’s criticism against the political performance of Ennahda exposed him to smear campaigns by the MB virtual pages on the social media.

These campaigns reached the point of threatening him being pushed to resignation, if he continues to criticize Ghannouchi, according to Saifuddin Makhlouf, an Ennahda pawn in Parliament.

Hassan Al-Dafei, a lawyer and political activist, said that Qais, who is far from all traditional political experiences in Tunisia, became a source of fear for the Muslim Brotherhood and a threat to the future of Rashid Ghannouchi, who is preoccupied with his party’s internal disputes.

The opportunity might be propitious for the Tunisian president to turn the tables on the Brotherhood and expose their extremist background, which many political and intellectual parties know they exist.

Eliminating from Rule Means Prosecution

The Ennahda Movement is now in the state of a “slaughtered bird” due to being excluded from political power for the first time since 2011.

With the exception of the Mahdi Jumaa government between 2014 and 2015, during which Ennahda left power by political agreement, the movement was always part of the game and enhanced its positions in administration, explaining the convulsive reaction of its leaders and their allies.

Moreover, the technocratic government planned by the President Qais Saeed and formed by Prime Minister-designate Hecham al-Mechichi forced Ennahda to take the opposition side, thus losing an important part of its bases.

Political analysts believe that Qais Saeed’s policy and his stance from the parties, especially Ennahda, annoys the Islamic movement, which is used to sharing power with weak parties and blaming them for the failure, because the head of state aspires to establish a strong political system without political parties that are destined for demise.

Ennahda also fears accountability, and it feels that its exclusion from the rule is a prelude to prosecution regarding serious charges such as sending fighters to the hotbeds of tensions and granting massive compensation from the state treasury to its leaders who were in prison, in addition to appointing suspicious figures in the state.

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