Tunisia’s ruling party consults to form cabinet without Ennahdha

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Tunisia’s ruling party Nidaa Tounes announced on Sunday that it is negotiating with the country’s political powers to form a new government excluding the Islamist Ennahdha party, the second largest in parliament.

This development is the latest escalation of a row with the president’s son that has paralyzed key decisions on the troubled economy.

The ruling party is led by President Beji Caid Essebsi’s son Hafedh, who has been battling to oust the premier for months.

The power struggle previously came to a head in July, when the president himself called on Chahed to resign.

Tunisia is on the verge of a ministerial reshuffle amid an alliance between the government of Chahed and the Ennahdha.

Nidaa Tounes’ announcement is the latest attempt to form a cabinet without the Islamist Ennahdha, accusing the later of aiming to control the state’s institutions and change the will of the Tunisian voters.

The North African country is often portrayed as the lone success story of the Arab Spring of 2011 but more than seven years after the ouster of longtime strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali it is still battling high inflation and unemployment and sometimes violent social unrest.

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