Tunisia elects new parliament speaker from Islamist party

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — The longtime leader of Tunisia’s Islamist party Ennahdha has been elected speaker of the North African country’s new parliament.

Rachid Ghannouchi was elected Wednesday with 123 votes of a possible 217 in the divided house.

Ennahdha won last month’s election. But with only 52 seats, the party failed to win the 109 required for a majority. It has so far failed to forge a coalition with other parties and the country continues to have a caretaker government under Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.

Getting Ghannouchi to the powerful position within parliament was a key goal for Ennahdha.

Kais Saied was elected president last month after former President Beji Caid Essebsi died in office in July. Saied is a retired law professor with no party affiliations.