Ennahda VP tells Ghannouchi to exit power after ‘disaster’ in Tunisia

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The vice president of Tunisia’s ruling Ennahda party, Abdelfattah Mourou, has called on the departure of party leader Rachid Ghannouchi, in a public show of instability within the party’s leadership.

In an interview with French weekly Marianne, Mourou told the news magazine that Ghannouchi had led Tunisia to “disaster,” in a report published Friday.

The vice president said he was the one who advised Tunisian Prime Minister Jebali to form a new government of technocrats to “save the country,” adding that he was among a panel of advisors to the PM.

Jebali has been seeking political support for his plan to form a non-partisan cabinet of technocrats, after the assassination last week of a leftist opposition figure threw Tunisia into turmoil.

But Jebali has been facing stiff resistance from Ennahda, which has been blamed for the cold-blooded murder of Chokri Belaid who was a staunch critic of the government.

Jebali was warned of chaos and threatened to quit if he is unable to go form a new government by the middle of the week.

Mourou accused Ghannouchi and his leadership of turning the party into “a family affair.”

“It is controlled by people who do not open up to realities and modernity. It is a disaster," he added.

Ennahda is planning a huge demonstration in Tunis on Saturday to defend its right to rule as the party voted to power in October 2011 elections, in an effort to discredit Jebali, who has clashed before with the party’s hardliners.