[QODLink]
Africa

Talks to name new Tunisian PM suspended

Suspension is a blow for hopes of a speedy resolution to deadlock ahead of government stepping down.

Last Modified: 05 Nov 2013 00:44
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Tunisia has struggled with a widening division over the role of Islam in the country's politics [EPA]

Tunisia's ruling party and opposition parties have suspended talks over forming a new caretaker government to end the country's political crisis after the two sides failed to agree on naming a prime minister.

It was not clear when negotiations would restart, but the suspension was a blow to hopes of a quick end to deadlock in a country whose 2011 uprising inspired the "Arab Spring" revolts across the region.

Tunisia's Islamist-led government has already agreed to step down later this month to make way for a temporary administration that will govern until elections, but the two sides remain deeply split over details of their agreement.

Ennahda wants to leave by the door and come back in through the window.

Hamma Hammami, an opposition leader

"They were unable to reach a consensus over the prime minister. The dialogue has been suspended until there is solid ground for negotiations," said Hussein Abassi, leader of the powerful UGTT union that brokered the talks.

He said the union may propose names for the premier if the ruling moderate Islamist party Ennahda and the opposition were unable to reach agreement.

Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi said the impasse would not last long, but the opposition accused his party of political games in an attempt to hang on to power.

"Ennahda wants to leave by the door and come back in through the window," said Hamma Hammami, an opposition party leader.

Since an uprising ousted autocratic leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali nearly three years ago, Tunisia has struggled with a widening division over the role of Islam in the country's politics.

But the assassination of two secular opposition leaders this year by armed groups sparked protests by opposition parties who demanded Ennahda resign, in part because it was too soft on those pushing for an Islamic state.

Ennahda and the opposition must still negotiate over a date for new elections and the composition of an electoral board and finish work on the country's new constitution before Ennahda steps down later this month.

350

Source:
Reuters
Email Article
Print Article
Share article
Send Feedback
Featured on Al Jazeera
Your chance to be an investigative journalist in Al Jazeera’s new interactive game.
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Featured
Indonesia's cassava plantations are being killed by mealybugs, and thousands of wasps have been released to stop them.
Violence in Ain al-Arab has prompted many Kurdish Syrians to flee to Turkey, but others are returning to battle ISIL.
Unelected representatives quietly iron out logistics of massive TPP and TTIP deals among US, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.
Led by students concerned for their future with 'nothing to lose', it remains to be seen who will blink first.
Taipei has sided with Hong Kong's pro-democracy protesters as relations with Beijing continue downward spiral.