The Ennahda Movement, the Muslim Brotherhood branch in Tunisia, pins its hopes on the coalitions it can hammer out inside the parliament with other political parties to blackmail and put pressure on the government of Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh.
The movement especially wants to form an alliance with the Heart of Tunisia Party, which possesses 29 seats in the parliament, and the Dignity Coalition which owns 19 seats.
Nevertheless, a large number of the members of the Heart of Tunisia Party have submitted their resignations, thus dealing a blow to Ennnahda’s hopes.
The movement wants to rally enough lawmakers behind it to be able to protect its head, Rached Ghannouchi, who is the parliament speaker, against ongoing calls for investigating his contacts and moves. These calls can result in withdrawing confidence from Ghannouchi.
On May 14, Heart of Tunisia lawmaker Zuhair Makhlouf submitted his resignation from the party, raising the number of party lawmakers who had already walked out of it to 11 since March.
Lawmaker Mohamed Murad al-Hamzawi also prepares to resign from the party, according to Tunisian media reports.
The Heart of Tunisia Party reacted to these resignations by suggesting a new bill that prevents lawmakers from changing their party affiliations. The bill enjoys huge support from Ennahda Movement and its members in the Tunisian parliament.
The Heart of Tunisia lawmakers who had quit the party say they will form a new bloc whose job will be to offer support to Prime Minister Fakhfakh.
This will open the door for the presence of a new bloc inside the parliament that is hostile to Ghannouchi.
The new bloc will most likely lobby for investigating Ghannouchi’s contacts and performance and probably call for withdrawing confidence from him.