World Bulletin / News Desk
Tunisia's main political parties failed to agree on forming a non-partisan cabinet to tackle turmoil triggered by the assassination of an opposition leader, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said on Monday.
But he said efforts would continue to form a government supported by most parties in the North African state that spawned the slew of popular uprisings against dictatorship across the Arab world two years ago.
Tunisia was pitched into crisis last week after secular opposition politician Chokri Belaid was gunned down outside his home in Tunis, touching off mass protests targeting in part the ruling Islamist party.
"The initiative for a cabinet of technocrats did not receive full political consensus and has failed...But work is continuing with all parties to form a government which has the agreement of most of the political parties," Jebali told a news conference.
He spoke after a meeting with leaders of secular political parties and his own Islamist Ennahda party.
Jebali suggested a cabinet of apolitical technocrats to help restore calm and guide Tunisia to elections. He had threatened to quit if his proposal failed but on Monday he said only: "I will meet the president tomorrow to discuss the next steps."
The political crisis has disrupted efforts to revitalise an economy that was hard-hit by the disorder that followed the overthrow of veteran strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.
Jebali's own Ennahda party rejected his idea of a technocratic government.
Ennahda party chief Rached Ghannouchi told Reuters it was essential that Islamists and secular parties shared power now and in the future. "Any stable rule in Tunisia needs a moderate Islamist-secular coalition," he said.
Ghannouchi said Ennahda might compromise over control of portfolios such as defence, foreign affairs, justice and interior. "We are ready to discuss all ministries, including sovereign ones, in a new coalition government."
Last Mod: 19 Şubat 2013, 10:57