Tunisia's defense minister says army remains neutral over tension

Jebali said he would present the new cabinet next week.

Tunisia's defense minister says army remains neutral over tension

World Bulletin / News Desk

Tunisian military stands at equal distance from all political parties, the country's defense minister has said, amid tensions between Islamist and secularist groups mounted after the killing of a leftist opposition figure last week.

"Tunisian army does not act toward goals of any individual or faction. The army works to protect the state bodies and civilian state structure," Abdelkarim Zebidi told reporters in a press conference on Saturday.

The assassination of Chokri Belaid, the 47 year-old leftist opposition leader and a fierce critic of the Tunisian government, was gunned down last Wednesday, sending thousands of protestors onto the streets, who balmed the ruling Islamist Ennahda party on the killing.

On Saturday, a day after angry Tunisians clashed with police during Chokri's funeral ceremony, thousands of pro-government demonstrators gathered in Tunis in a show of support for Ennahda and the country's constitutional assembly, which saw its efforts to draft a new constitution interrupted after left-wing withdrew their participation.

In the immediate aftermath of Belaid's killing, Ennahda's Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali dissolved the government to form a cabinet of technocrats to lead the country to general elections.

However, Jebali's move was rejected by his Ennahda and two other coalition partners.

Jebali said he would present the new cabinet next week.

Last Mod: 10 Şubat 2013, 12:46
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