Tunisia national dialogue to end in 'three weeks'

Talks might conclude in three weeks as government pledges to resign, senior coalition party Ennahda Movement's leader Al-Ghannushi says

Tunisia national dialogue to end in 'three weeks'

World Bulletin / News Desk

The political dialogue in Tunisia that was launched last Friday could conclude in three weeks, coinciding with the government's resignation, head of senior coalition party Ennahda Movement Rachid al-Ghannushi said Sunday.

Representatives from the government and a number of opposition parties came together on Friday to set off the first round of talks that they hope will pull the country out of a three-month political crisis.

They are working to finalize a new constitution, while setting a date for elections and forming a body to oversee polling remain among priorities, all expected in a month-long political marathon.

"It is probable that this process and the new constitution will be completed in three weeks," al-Ghannushi said.

"The parliament may be able to conclude the work on constitution at the same time as the government resigns. We are hopeful about the outcome of the national dialogue meetings, as all political parties take this very seriously."

Al-Ghannushi, a noted scholar and the “intellectual leader” of Ennahda, ruled out running for president in next elections.

The government's departure from power was indispensable for main opposition National Salvation Front (NSF), which decided to take part in talks minutes before it began, after Ennahda-led three-party coalition formally pledged to resign within three weeks of the launch of the dialogue.

Tunisia's political crisis was triggered by the assassination of opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi in July, which led to a general strike and days of protests that paralyzed the capital.

Mediators, including the powerful UGTT labor union, unveiled last month a 'transitional roadmap' that calls for the Ennahda Party to relinquish authority to a caretaker government of technocrats.

Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh stressed on Thursday that the ruling coalition remained committed to the roadmap, as hours earlier protesters took to the streets of capital Tunis to demand the government's resignation.

Last Mod: 28 Ekim 2013, 17:25
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