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Updated Feb 6, 2020

Rached Ghannouchi, the founder and leader of Tunisia’s Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Ennahdha party, is beginning to face strong opposition from within his own ranks. Ennahdha has been one of the rare examples of a Tunisian political party maintaining cohesion and unity in a country whose political landscape is marked by schisms and betrayals. Ghannouchi’s ability to guide his party through all this, particularly during a time when other Muslim Brotherhood parties in countries like Egypt have been forced out of power, imprisoned, and in several cases tortured and killed.

All this may be threatened if the anti-Ghannouchi faction of Ennahdha, led by former minister of health Abdellatif Mekki, succeeds in pushing for the next party congress to be held in May 2020. This faction hopes to use this meeting as a launch pad to attain control of the party and oust Ghannouchi, who currently sits as the speaker of the National Assembly, Tunisia’s parliament. 

The demand for a new party congress was made during the course of the previous one, which Ghannouch rejected by stating the purpose of that gathering was to discuss Ennahdha’s position regarding the formation of a new government after the previously appointed president lost a vote of no-confidence. Ghannouchi gave assurances that a new party congress would be held soon, without specifying a date.

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