Tunisian Cabinet Shuffle Talks Break Down
Discussions on a cabinet reshuffle in Tunisia have come to a halt this weekend. The talks broke down after the Congress for the Republic, a secular member of the governing coalition, asked that certain Islamist officials connected to Ennahda, the leading Islamist party, be replaced in their positions. The CPR also threatened to withdraw from the new government unless Ennahda drops two specific Islamist leaders from their positions. Also, Secretary-General of the Congress for the Republic, Mohammed Abbou, said, “If Ennahda does not change its foreign and justice ministers within a week, the Congress for the Republic will withdraw its ministers from the government and President Marzouki may resign from his post.”
There is concern among opposition parties that Ennahda is attempting to monopolize power and limit freedom of expression. The opposition is also frustrated with Ennahda’s unwillingness to cede major government positions to other members of the coalition or the opposition.