Moussi, Ghannouchi square off in parliament

The PDL leader said that her bloc’s sit-in inside the parliament’s auditorium would continue until their petition to question Ghannouchi was presented to MPs for a vote.

Thursday 14/05/2020
Leader of Tunisia’s Free Destourian Party (PDL) Abir Moussi attends a parliament plenary session with a picture of Habib Bourguiba, the first president of Tunisia, on display in front of her as a symbol of ideological challenge to Islamists. (AFP)
Tensions rising. Leader of Tunisia’s Free Destourian Party (PDL) Abir Moussi attends a parliament plenary session with a picture of Habib Bourguiba, the first president of Tunisia, on display in front of her as a symbol of ideological challenge to Islamis

TUNIS – Representatives of Tunisia’s Free Destourian Party (PDL) led by Abir Moussi announced a second open sit-in in parliament to protest the Islamist Ennahda party’s efforts to stop PDL leaders from displaying protest signs in parliament.

The PDL also condemned Ennahda’s attacks against them for their vocal “opposition to the Muslim Brotherhood.”

The PDL announced they would hold an open sit-in after Ennahda called for the removal of both an image of Tunisia’s founding leader, Habib Bourguiba, and a sign calling for Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi to be questioned and potentially removed from his position as speaker of parliament.

Moussi was also personally targeted during a parliament session by Seifeddine Makhlouf, head of the hardline Al Karama coalition that is close with Ennahda.

Moussi said that her bloc’s sit-in inside the parliament’s auditorium would continue until their petition to question Ghannouchi was presented to MPs for a vote during a public session.

Calls to withdraw confidence from Ghannouchi have been growing amid accusations he has “vague, undeclared and suspicious” ties with Turkey and Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated factions in Libya.

Moussi, who is head of the opposition bloc in parliament, has long been a fierce opponent of Ennahda and Al Karama coalition.

Moussi accused Ghannouchi of orchestrating a campaign against her, her parliamentary bloc and the PDL, adding that the Islamist leader was attempting to control parliament “in a fascist and dictatorial manner.”

Earlier in May, Interior Ministry spokesman Khaled Hayouni said Moussi had been informed of an assassination threat against her and was under protection.

In a statement to Tunisian media Shems FM, he said the ministry was dealing seriously with the threat.