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.

 

17 killed in fatal Cairo building collapse

Syrian air strikes on Raqa kill 63 civilians

Essebsi leads Tunisia presidential vote

Death toll rises from Morocco flash floods

Lebanon's Jumblatt tweets his life besides politics

Egypt nabs five Salafist leaders

Paris pushing for 'safe zones' in war-torn Syria

New air strike hits Tripoli’s sole operational airport

Pentagon chief steps down

Saudi seeks to ‘knock out’ shale oil competitors from oil market

Yemen troops free 8 hostages from Al-Qaeda

Italy hails Egypt as 'strategic partner'

US Congress skeptical of Iran nuclear talks extension

Khartoum, Darfur rebels open ceasefire talks

Time runs out for biggest chance to resolve Iran nuclear standoff

Egypt leader heads to Italy

Morocco arrests six over online IS allegiance pledge

Iraqi forces retake areas near Iran border from jihadists

Southern Morocco storms claim eight lives

Marzouki, Essebsi set for runoff in Tunisia presidential vote

Biden wraps up Turkey visit without breakthrough on Syria

Sudan launches investigation into claims of 'mass rape' in Darfur village

Assad urges ‘real pressure’ on backers of 'terror'

Israel eyes powers to revoke rights of Arab residents

Iraq death sentence to ex- PM threatens to damage ties with powerful tribe

Iran hardliners resist possible nuclear deal in rare protest

After failure of boycott, Bahrain Shiite opposition resorts to accusations

Tunisia votes for president in first free and multi-candidate election

Hope for change and stability as Tunisia prepares to elect new president

Saudi detainee sent home as US speeds up Guantanamo repatriations

Economy and security top agenda of Sisi’s first European tour

Benghazi attack report clears Obama administration of serious charges

Voters bet on stability in crucial Bahrain elections

Hurdles remain high as Iran and world powers press on for nuclear pact

Shebab ‘revenge’ attack leaves 28 innocents dead in Kenya

Strains between Washington and Ankara despite declared agreement

Paypal teams up with AttijariWafa Bank to boost Morocco exports

UN begins sending winter aid to Iraq

Turkey launches all-out war against bonzai drug

Turkey to build bridge across Dardanelles to ease traffic

IS launch major attack on Ramadi

Biden: You cannot think free where you cannot challenge orthodoxy

Does Abbas have enough political influence to stop violence in Jerusalem?

Turkey offers military assistance to Iraq

Bomb hits police post near Helwan University in Egypt