TUNIS – Tensions ran high on Wednesday in Tunisia’s parliament after lawmakers from Al Karama coalition brandished a photo of former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi.
Lawmakers were supposed to examine the bill on the social and solidarity economy, but Karama lawmakers chose to brandish Morsi’s photo with the words "Peace in the soul of the martyr" to mark the first anniversary of his death.
This clear ideological positioning triggered the wrath of lawmakers from Qalb Tounes and the Free Destourian Party (PDL).
Qalb Tounes leader Oussama Khelifi considered Karama lawmakers’ action a provocation, calling on the Council to respect the law and to focus on the agenda.
Insults exchanged by lawmakers interrupted the plenary session as PDL lawmakers refused to continue on condition that Morsi’s photo be removed.
Deputy Abir Moussi said that raising Morsi's photos was an insult to parliament and an attempt to whitewash the symbols of extremism, calling for the image and slogans to be withdrawn immediately.
Other liberal lawmakers called Islamist counterparts’ move a pure provocation.