Last updated: 16 April, 2013

Tunisian president targeted in no-confidence vote

A no-confidence vote against Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki, under fire from the opposition for criticising “secular extremists,” was filed in parliament on Tuesday, a lawmaker said.

“I confirm to you that the no-confidence motion against interim President of the Republic Moncef Marzouki was filed at the registry of the NCA (National Constituent Assembly) with 77 signatures,” Karima Souid said on Twitter and Facebook.

A date has yet to be fixed for the vote, which would require the backing of 109 out of 217 MPs to succeed. That is an unlikely scenario given the support Marzouki enjoys within the ruling coalition led by ruling Islamist party Ennahda.

Since late March, the opposition has been gathering the signatures of MPs in a bid to introduce the motion against the president, after he warned that “secular extremists” could spark a bloody revolution in which they would be “hanged.”

The opposition has repeatedly accused Marzouki, who heads a minority secular party in the coalition government, of failing to stand up to his moderate Islamist allies, but this is the first time they have tried to force him out.

The president’s office declined to comment on the proposed motion, but the president described it earlier this month as a “ludicrous act.”