First Published: 2013-01-27

 

Tunisia government reshuffle talks come to nothing

 

Lengthy consultations on Tunisian government reshuffle founder on refusal of Islamists to give up key ministries.

 

Middle East Online

Ghannouchi and his shadow

TUNIS - Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said on Saturday that lengthy consultations on a Tunisian government reshuffle had failed and that he will choose a new line-up unless a compromise is found soon.

"We did not agree on a government reshuffle but the negotiations were positive," said Jebali, whose Islamist Ennahda party heads a coalition government with the secular parties Ettakatol and Congress for the Republic.

"It is my duty as prime minister to submit in the next few days a list of government members to the Constituent Assembly for their approval," Jebali said.

But he said he still hoped a "consensus" would emerge, adding that "otherwise I will propose the list that I deem valid".

Political parties had been demanding a government change in the wake of a wave of violence and social unrest that have rocked Tunisia since the ouster two years ago of veteran dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

On Friday a government statement said Jebali would announce on Saturday the results of negotiations on a government reshuffle.

Ennahda first said a reshuffle was "imminent" last July to enlarge the current coalition that also includes the centre-left parties, Ettakatol and President Moncef Marzouki's Congress for the Republic.

The talks have constantly foundered on the refusal of the Islamists to give up key ministries including foreign affairs and the interior.

Political disagreement has also been rife over the content of the constitution and the political system in Tunisia, which sparked the Arab Spring that ousted Ben Ali in early 2011.

Social unrest has injected urgency into the negotiations.

The North African nation has been rocked by discontent that exploded into violence earlier this month in the southern town of Ben Guerdane and at Siliana in the northwest last month, injuring 300 people.

Ennahda is refusing to sack Interior Minister Ali Larayedh, who has come under fire for his handling of the unrest and attacks by extremist Salafist Muslims.

The ruling party also refuses to replace Justice Minister Noureddine Bhiri and Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem who has also been linked to a corruption scandal.

 

Egypt lists Hamas as terrorist organisation

Yemen separatists suspend participation in UN-sponsored talks

Iran shrugs off Netanyahu bid to abort nuclear deal

Jailed Kurdish leader calls on followers to lay down arms

Iraq reopens national museum more than 10 years after looting

Scores dead as car bombs target crowded market in Iraq capital

Dozens dead as Qaeda takes strategic rebel base in Syria

UAE reopens Yemen embassy in Aden

Libya PM threatens new air strikes with Egypt against IS

Qatar takes full ownership of Porta Nuova

Roadmap finally agreed to end brutal Syria conflict

Turkey not placing high priority on fighting IS

IS militants destroy priceless ancient artefacts in Iraq’s Mosul

Aden becomes Yemen de facto ‘political capital’

Qatar emir committed to 'stability' in Egypt despite row

Rouhani adviser blames ‘extremists’ for rights violations

US-led coalition raids IS targets in northeastern Syria

IS executioner identity revealed

3 sentenced to death over Bahrain police killings

Hollande condemns French MPs for meeting Assad

HRW: Kurds preventing return of Arabs to disputed Iraq areas

One dead in series of Cairo bombings

UN Security Council calls for stepping up Yemen talks

Kerry: US, Iran have 'mutual interest' in defeating IS

Australian FM warns women against 'romantic adventure' with IS

Lebanese synagogue gets second life

Netanyahu speech to test resilience of US-Israeli ties

Austria adopts 'Islam of European character'

Tuareg chief issues plea for Mali unity

UN: Saleh amassed between $32-60 billion

Libyan FM warns country could be next Syria

Iran rejects US claims of role in Yemen crisis

French planes on Gulf-based carrier make first strikes

Top US official warns against Netanyahu speech to congress

Four French MPs meet Assad in Syria

FIFA cites 'problems' in worker conditions for Qatar World Cup

Mosque torched near Bethlehem

Egypt TV host faces trial for false bathhouse accusations

Turkey drives hard bargain over crucial missile deal

Obama nominates first US ambassador to Somalia since 1991

Obama praises Qatar as 'strong partner' in fighting IS

Saudi goes hi-tech against IS threat

Sisi grants Egypt authorities sweeping anti-terror powers

Algeria police prevent anti-shale gas protest

Turkey revives Istanbul canal plan