Thursday, February 7, 2013

Tunisia will form a government of apolitical technocrats

Tunisia will form a government of apolitical technocrats

The Tunisian Prime Minister, Hamadi Jebali, announced Wednesday, February 6 he will form a "government of national powers without political affiliation" after the assassination of opposition Chokri Belaid, which triggered a wave of violence in Tunisia. The government "will have a limited mandate to manage the country's affairs until elections as soon as possible," he said in a televised address to the nation.

Mr. Jebali, however, did not set a timetable to overhaul the government intends to keep the head of the new cabinet, which must be confirmed by the National Constituent Assembly. It has also not given the names of future ministers.


This decision comes as the coalition of secular left and Islamist Ennahda failed for months to compromise on the distribution of sovereign ministries. Mr. Jebali said that the decision to form a small cabinet of technocrats was arrested before the murder "heinous that shocked our people." "The assassination of [Chokri Belaid] has accelerated my position that I assume my full responsibility before God and our people," he said.

Read: Death of the Tunisian opposition Chokri Belaid: We killed a Democrat

Lay Islamist allies demanded that sovereign portfolios are entrusted to independent, what the fringe hard Ennahda refused. Mr. Jebali is considered a moderate in his party as being in favor of justice and foreign affairs are under the control of apolitical personalities.

Tunisia has been rocked since been through several waves of political and social violence, raising fears of destabilization of the country two years after the revolution that brought down the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The new elections will not actually take place before the adoption of the Constitution, which is written in stalemate for months, without compromise to the Constituent Assembly formed in October 2011.

In protest after the assassination of Belaid, four secular opposition groups - the Popular Front, Al-Massar (left), the Republican Party and Nidaa Tounes (center) - have now already called for a general strike and suspended their participation in the National Constituent Assembly.

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