[QODLink]
Africa

Tunisia PM stands firm on technocrats' choice

Hamadi Jebali says he will step down if unable to form government of technocrats by Saturday to solve political crisis.
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2013 07:09

Tunisia's prime minister has announced he will continue to oppose his own political party and seek to form a government of technocrats by Saturday to solve the country's crisis or resign.

Hamadi Jebali said on Thursday he will hold talks with representatives of all political parties on Friday to see if there is sufficient support for his solution to end the crisis exacerbated by a political assassination last week.

He will announce the results of the meeting on Saturday.

Jebali's initiative, while supported by the opposition, puts him on a collision course with the Ennahda Party, which dominates the government and insists on sticking with a cabinet of political figures.

The two competing visions for how to resolve the country's political deadlock are even more striking because Jebali is the secretary general of the Ennahda, revealing differences within the party itself.

In the midst of an ongoing tussle between the governing coalition and the opposition, leftist politician Chokri Belaid was shot four times through the window of his car outside his home on February 6, setting off anti-government riots around the country.

Hundreds of thousands showed up at his funeral and the Ennahda-led administration was widely blamed for creating the violent environment that resulted in his death - as well as not solving persistent economic problems.

In response, Jebali called for a government of technocrats to end the transitional period by speeding up the writing of the new constitution and holding long-awaited new elections. His initiative has been warmly welcomed by civil society and the opposition.

Ennahda, meanwhile, has seen its support shrink with one coalition partner, the left-wing Ettakatol Party, supporting Jebali, leaving it just with the Congress party and a few other small groups.

On Wednesday, Ennahda issued a statement maintaining that the crisis could only be solved with a “national political coalition that is open to both partisan and independent figures.”

313

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Indonesia's digerati could be crucial to success in the country's upcoming presidential election.
How Brazil's football legend turned every Corinthians' match into a political meeting for democracy.
As the Pakistani army battles Taliban forces, civilians in North Waziristan face an arduous escape for relative safety.
Nepalese trade in a libido-boosting fungus is booming but experts warn over-exploitation could destroy ecosystem.
Featured
Muslims and Arabs in the US say they face discrimination in many areas of life, 13 years after the 9/11 attacks.
At one UN site alone, approximately four children below the age of five are dying each day.
Israel's Operation Protective Edge is the third major offensive on the Gaza Strip in six years.
Consumption of traditional nutritional staples such as salmon, moose and bear has fallen in recent generations.
Palestinian families fear Israel's night-time air strikes, as the civilian death toll soars in the Gaza Strip.
join our mailing list