Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party topped Tunisia’s parliamentary elections in October, was elected Wednesday as the parliament’s key institution for young democracy, with 123 votes out of 217, according to AFP.
Large figure of the Islamist opposition under presidents Habib Bourguiba then Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, this 78 year old man has acceded to the presidency of the Assembly after an agreement with the liberal party Qalb Tounes of the controversial businessman Nabil Karoui, told AFP several sources within these parties.
Mr. Karoui, defeated in the second round of the presidential election of October 13, had tried to pose as a bulwark against Islamism during the election campaign. His party vehemently excluded until the last minute any agreement with the first force of Parliament.
Ennahdha, meanwhile, managed to take the lead in presenting himself as the spearhead of the ideals of the 2011 revolution, promising to break with the past, notably embodied by the party by Mr. Karoui.
But with only a quarter of the seats in a fragmented Parliament, Ennahdha must make significant concessions to achieve his ends.
This election comes in effect a few days before the last deadline before which Ennahdha must announce to whom the party entrusts the heavy task of forming a government likely to convince the majority of deputies.