A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Nahda Sticks By Jebali, Who is Sticking By His Demands (Which Nahda Opposes)

In the wake of Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali's resignation, his party, al-Nahda, says "they would continue to support him as prime minister if he agrees to hold the position." Bear in mind that "continue to support him" may mean something different in this case than it would in other political systems, because it was his own party's rejection of his plan for a technocratic government that led to his resignation. What al-Nahda may be trying to say here is that they had no Plan B.

Jebali seems to be engaged in a showdown with the party; his conditions for continuing include some sort of technocratic Cabinet and setting the specific date for early general elections, due this year anyway. Jebali also has called for resolving the deadlock over the new constitution. Talks between Nahda leader Rached Ghannouchi and President Moncef Marzouki produced no solution, and at the moment there seems to be a shortage of alternative candidates.

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