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Tunisia in limbo after Essebsi ends Ennahda alliance

The announcement by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi of the dissolution of Nidaa Tunis' alliance with Ennahda, ending five years of consensus government in Tunisia, has sparked controversy.
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TUNIS — In a televised interview on Sept. 24, Tunisian President Béji Caid Essebsi confirmed the end of the five-year alliance between his ruling party, Nidaa Tunis, and Ennahda. “Relations between Beji Caid Essebsi and Ennahda have been severed at Ennahda’s request,” he said, referring to himself in the third person on the program “Tunis al-Youm,” broadcast by Al-Hiwar al-Tunisi. “There is no longer a consensus between me and them.”

Responding to Essebsi’s remarks, Ennahda issued a statement the following day denying having requested an end to the alliance, stressing its importance for preserving stability in the country. The statement further asserted that Ennahda’s disagreement with Essebsi on how best to maintain stability — which in Ennahda's eyes is by backing Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, a former Nidaa Tunis member — does not affect its alliance with Essebsi.

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