Tunisian PM says new Cabinet needed during crisis

 

(10/02/13) Tunisia’s Islamist prime minister said that he will resign if his proposal to appoint a non-political Cabinet by mid-week is rejected.

 

Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali first called for that change on Wednesday after Tunisia was thrown into a crisis when a prominent opposition politician was shot and killed in Tunis, touching off violent protests.

 

Jebali’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party has already rejected his proposal. But he didn’t flinch, saying in an interview with the France-24 TV channel that to change the situation, government ministers must be replaced by ones without a political affiliation, notably technocrats.

 

As Mr. Jebali spoke, several thousand pro-government protesters rallied on the main avenue of the capital. Outside Tunis, groups of youths threw stones at offices of the governing party and attacked police stations in several cities in scattered unrest.

 

Yesterday was the third straight day of unrest in this North African country, which overthrew its long-ruling president, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, in January 2011, kicking off the Arab Spring revolutions.

 

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