The results of the elections for the new executive bureau of Ennahda left a wide debate about the names of those who rose and who lost their seats, despite the movement’s president presenting a consensus list to vote, gathering his supporters and opponents.
In an official communiqué, Ennahda announced the composition of its executive office – 17 members – about 8 months after its former chief dissolved the office and transferred it to the conduct of business, which it justified at the time as “a response to the requirements and entitlements of the stage.”
The results of the elections, which took place last Saturday, witnessed the rise of names affiliated with the side opposing the extension of Ghannouchi at the head of the movement, or what is known as the “group of hundred”, similar to the leaders Abd al-Latif al-Makki and Nur al-Din al-Arabawi, in exchange for an initial loss of close associates such as Anwar Maarouf and Rafiq Abd al-Salam.
In the past, 100 leaders of the movement sent a letter to its president, Rashid Ghannouchi, asking him not to run for a new term, in respect of the internal law that enshrines the principle of deliberation, and requires the election of a new president, unlike Ghannouchi, during the next conference.
On the other hand, another group close to its president defended his remaining head of the movement, and their argument for that is the need of the party and the country for him as a legal personality that has political and struggle balance and experience in managing public affairs.
Remedy for the consensual list
The elections for the Executive Office of Ennahda Movement – according to observers – came on the impact of a severe internal crisis, which led to a series of resignations of the angry people who were angry at the policies of its president in relation to the postponement of the 11th conference of the movement and the extension of Ghannouchi’s mandate, similar to his former advisor Lotfi Zaitoun and the founding leader Abdel Hamid Al-Jalasi.
Mohsen al-Sudani, a member of the Ennahda Shura and one of those affiliated with the Group of 100, confirms to Al-Jazeera Net that Ghannouchi will, this week, re-display the consensus list to vote again, with the aim of completing the election of the remaining names that fell due to organizational deficiencies that marred the vote.
He stressed the existence of strenuous efforts by the leaders of Ennahda to turn the page of differences, heading towards consensus and preparing for the next electoral conference in appropriate conditions and restoring the movement’s unity of ranks.
Ennahda leader Rafiq Abdel Salam commented on the results of the new executive office elections in a blog post on his personal account, saying, “Today I am honored to move from the leadership position to the associate and active member, although I still hold the status of a member of the Shura Council ..”.
A slap to the enemies of the rebirth
The movement’s leader, Nour al-Din al-Beheiri, stresses that there are no winners or losers in the movement’s executive office elections, adding, “Consensus and the voice of wisdom are the ones who won after presenting a consensual list that brings together opponents and supporters of Ghannouchi.”
And he confirms that, unlike what some voices propagated by their ideological blindness, Ghannouchi has succeeded in encircling internal differences, bringing points of view between the leaders of the movement closer, and presenting a nominal, consensual list that does not exclude anyone, as he put it.
In his speech to Al-Jazeera Net, Al-Buhairi added, “Ghannouchi did not lose his influence nor his position within the movement, but rather strengthened it in the hearts of its children, after his appearance as a transcendent leader over personal and factional accounts, and his continuation of the consensus approach as an indispensable option.”
Al-Buhairi considers that whoever bet on splits within the movement and cited the break-up of its contract, his endeavor was disappointed and received a “resounding slap”, after the consensus achieved by the results of the executive office elections.
He points out that the elections for the new office, and the diversity of names that resulted from Ghannouchi and others against him, is a cornerstone of the launching of the preparations for the 11th Ennahda Conference.
It is noteworthy that Ghannouchi had decided in a previous interview with Al-Jazeera his decision not to run for a new term at the helm of Ennahda, as a commitment to respect its internal law, to end a debate that continued for months inside and outside the movement.