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Tunisia’s economy is in a state of emergency, but this situation isn’t unique at all, writes Samia Obeid, Middle East Bureau Chief on Tuesday, May 27, 2016. (Samuel Granados/A.P. Images for Middle East Eye)

Tunisia’s economy is in a state of emergency, but this situation isn’t unique at all, writes Samia Obeid, Middle East Bureau Chief on Tuesday, May 27, 2016. (Samuel Granados/A.P. Images for Middle East Eye)

JERUSALEM – Tunisia’s two main political parties, the Ennahda and the National Democratic Party, have joined forces to demand that president Beji Caid Essebsi step down after a series of controversial statements.

The move comes after Essebsi sparked controversy in the last few days when he suggested that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was right that Palestinians are carrying out suicide attacks.

Ennahda, the main party that led the government until the election last year, has taken the first step by calling for Essebsi to be forced from his position by a vote of no confidence.

Ennahda leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali called on the cabinet to dissolve the presidential powers of Essebsi, saying the president has “lost control over security” and must be gone until new elections were called.

“This government has lost the mandate, it has become a puppet government, a government that doesn’t respect the people, whose president doesn’t listen to the people and doesn’t listen to their concerns, the majority of Tunisians,” the premier said.

Jihad Boumedenegh, leader of the National Democratic Movement leader, said Essebsi is part of the problem, and called for an end to the cabinet dysfunction that the president is responsible for.

“It is not just the government’s crisis, it is an Arab/African crisis,” he said.

“There are a lot of people who are asking him [Essebsi], and the government must respond… there’s no other way,” he added.

Speaking in a televised address to government workers, Essebsi called for unity in the face of the challenge of unemployment and instability in the Arab world.

He also warned it