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.

 

Saudi warns of 'disastrous consequences' over US 9/11 law

3,800 Syrian civilians killed by Russian strikes in one year

World leaders attend Shimon Peres’ funeral

UN warns 100,000 people trapped in South Sudan town

Bulgaria approves full-face Islamic veil ban

Jordanians rally against gas deal with Israel

Israel pays Turkey $20 million compensation for Gaza flotilla raid

Egypt MP suggests university virginity tests

Morocco to speed repatriation of citizens in Germany illegally

Turkey opposition leader condemns Erdogan’s ‘coup against democracy’

French jets set off to join action as battle for Mosul looms

Moroccan left hopes to offer 'third way' at polls

Renault signs Iran auto venture

Saudi border guard killed, 3 civilians hurt by shelling from Yemen

Turkey issues warrants for judicial, prison staff

MSF warns Syria, Russia to stop ‘bloodbath’ in Aleppo

Russia waiting to see OPEC freeze deal details

Police raid Casablanca market after rumours of sex dolls

UN warns 700,000 will need aid once Mosul offensive starts

Saudi seeks oil leadership in economic pinch

Egypt court suspends block on island transfer to Saudi

Bid for international Yemen war probe fails at UN

UN warns 'hundreds' in Aleppo need medical evacuation

Palestinian president to attend Peres funeral

King Abdullah visits home of murdered writer

Amnesty accuses Sudan of using chemical arms against Darfur civilians

Bahrain says 9/11 bill will harm US

9/11 bill puts US, Saudi cooperation in question

UN envoy says Syria talks 'very difficult with bombs falling'

Erdogan says Moody's was 'bought' after downgrade

Erdogan: Turkey may need state of emergency for more than a year

Iraqi activist wins Norway rights prize

Kidnapped German woman, baby freed in Syria

Turkey stops Kurdish TV broadcasts

A year of bombing in Syria triggers limited interest in Russia

Obama defends refusal to use military force to end Syria civil war

US Congress overrides Obama's veto of Saudi 9/11 bill

OPEC agrees deal to cut oil output

Palestinians react to death of Peres

Poverty takes toll in rebel-held Yemen fishing village

Kerry threatens to end negotiations with Russia on Syria

Kuwaiti court scraps petrol price hike

Iraq requests more US troops to take on IS in Mosul

Airstrikes hit hospitals in rebel-held Aleppo

Iran nuclear chief says not worried about Trump