Tunisia's new PM promises inclusive government

Tunisia's prime minister-designate Ali Larayedh said hoped to form a "government of all Tunisians," urged political parties, trade unions, businessmen and journalists to support his government

Tunisia's new PM promises inclusive government


World Bulletin/News Desk

Tunisia's prime minister-designate Ali Larayedh, from the Ennahda party, said on Friday he hoped to form a "government of all Tunisians", but opposition leaders swiftly signalled discontent.

Tunisia plunged into political crisis on Feb. 6 when the assassination of secular opposition politician Chokri Belaid on Feb. 6 ignited the biggest street protests since the overthrow of strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali two years ago.

President Moncef Marzouki asked Larayedh to draw up a government within two weeks after he was formally nominated for prime minister by Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi.

"We will start consultations to form a new government ... a government of all Tunisians," Larayedh said in brief remarks after meeting the secular president.

He urged political parties, trade unions, businessmen and journalists to support his government to achieve the objectives of the North African country's revolution and build democracy.

Mahmoud Baroudi, a leader of the secular Democratic Alliance opposition party, said Larayedh's appointment would aggravate tensions and increase anger in the streets.

"He was responsible for leniency with Islamist violence against human rights activists," he said.

No one has claimed responsibility for Belaid's killing.

Ennahda is the biggest party in the National Constituent Assembly with 89 of its 217 seats. Marzouki's secular Congress for the Republic party (CPR), the second largest with 29 seats, has already said it will join a new Ennahda-led coalition.

Larayedh, 57 rejects any role for parties linked to the Ben Ali era.

A maritime engineer, Larayedh spent 15 years in jail under Ben Ali. He became interior minister when the previous government was formed in December 2011.

Outgoing Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, who resigned on Tuesday, refused to head the next government after his own Ennahda party rejected his plan for an apolitical technocrat cabinet to prepare for elections.

Last Mod: 23 Şubat 2013, 12:56
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