First Published: 2013-08-11

 

No dialogue with Ennahda: Tunisia opposition proposes government of national salvation

 

Coalition of Tunisian opposition parties intends to propose next week cabinet of independents to end political crisis shaking country.

 

Middle East Online

Degage!

TUNIS - A coalition of Tunisian opposition parties intends to propose next week a cabinet of independents to end the political crisis shaking the country, one of their members said Saturday.

"The National Salvation Front will continue to work toward a government of national salvation and make its proposals on independent figures to constitute it next week," said Karima Souid, from the Massar party.

"The front will also set out a precise road map," she added.

The front is a mixed bag of parties running from the extreme left to the centre-right that is demanding that the Islamist-led government of Prime Minister Ali Larayedh step down.

The North African country has seen almost non-stop political turmoil since the February assassination of opposition politician and MP Chokri Belaid.

His killing was followed by the murder on July 25 of another opposition figure, Mohamed Brahmi.

The murders have been blamed on radical Islamists, and the cabinet has been accused of not doing enough to prevent such killings.

The opposition has rejected talks with the government until it steps down, while the Ennahda party that heads the coalition has ruled out any dialogue conditional on its ouster.

But Souid said there "can be no discussion until a government of national salvation is put in place. That is non-negotiable."

Larayedh has refused to resign, and vowed Thursday that his cabinet will make every effort to turn to dialogue with its critics to resolve the crisis.

"Dialogue is the best way to overcome difficulties and resolve current problems," he said in a message for the start of Eid al-Fitr, the holiday marking the end of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan.

It was his first reaction to Tuesday's suspension of the work of the elected National Constituent Assembly pending negotiations between the opposition and the government.

Assembly speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar has proposed that the powerful UGTT trade unions organisation, which has called for a government of technocrats, mediate talks between the cabinet and opposition.

Since its 2011 election, the assembly has failed to hammer out a consensus on a new constitution following a revolution that ousted long-time president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali earlier the same year.

The suspension of the assembly throws into question Larayedh's target of adopting a new constitution and electoral law by October 23 ahead of a proposed December 17 election.

 

Warring Syrians set for first face-to-face at Astana

Turkey moves closer to expanding Erdogan powers

IS demolishes more monuments in recaptured Palmyra

Bodies of firemen recovered from Tehran tower

Police, ruling party hit by attacks in Istanbul

Bomb kills 4 in refugee camp near Syrian border with Jordan

Egypt says political solution 'only way' for Libya ahead of talks

Turkey concedes including Assad in Syria talks

Netanyahu congratulates ‘friend’ Trump in tweet

Israel denounces Belgian plan to interrogate ex-minister

Denmark grants soldiers permission to fight IS in Syria

Car bomb near Benghazi mosque wounds 12

UN calls IS destruction of Palmyra relics ‘war crime’

Armed settlers rescued from angry Palestinian villagers

Petition filed for Israeli court to return body of Bedouin

29 Yemen rebels killed by Saudi-led air strikes

Iran losing hope of saving trapped firefighters

Algeria’s Islamist parties unite ahead of April elections

British worker dies on Qatar 2022 World Cup site

Search continues for trapped Iran firefighters

More than 40 jihadists killed in north Syria air strikes

Trump to be sworn in as 45th US president

Trump to retain envoy to anti-IS coalition

More than 20 firefighters feared dead in Tehran building collapse

Explosions in Gaza target Fatah member

UN expert tells Saudi to end ban on women driving

Desalination plant opens in Gaza to tackle water crisis

Syria’s Assad hopes rebels disarm after Astana talks

UN says 400,000 Syrian child refugees in Turkey not in school

Libya PM skips Davos to focus on electricity crisis

Greece, Cyprus insist peace deal must include Turkish withdrawal

Mistura to lead UN delegation at Astana Syria talks

Turkey slams French satire song about Istanbul attack

Saudi minister says kingdom to become ‘softer’ after reforms

Bahrain lifts ban on electronic Al-Wasat newspaper

Arab Israelis strike in protest over house demolitions

Iran sees Syria talks as opportunity to gain influence

Kuwait upholds sentence for three royals for insulting judges

Tunisia facing mounting calls against jail-for-joint law

Iran's oldest high-rise building on fire collapses

IMF says Egypt on track for next aid tranche

Bahrain police disperse Shiite protesters

Key Syria rebel group opts out of Astana peace talks

Moroccan Sufi ‘living master’ dies at 95

France says Iraqi jihadist among 2015 stadium bombers