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Plan for govt of technocrats has failed, Tunisian PM says

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-02-19

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said late on Monday that his plan to form a new government of independent technocrats had failed. Jebali announced the plan after the assassination of a prominent opposition politician early this month.

Tunisia's Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said on Monday that the country's main political parties had failed to form a cabinet of independent technocrats after the country was thrown into turmoil by the assassination of an opposition politician early this month.

“The initiative of a cabinet of technocrats did not receive full political consensus and failed ... but work is continuing with all parties in order to form a government which has the agreement of most of the political parties,” Jebali told a news conference.

Jebali said he would meet with President Moncef Marzouki on Tuesday to discuss the country’s next steps.

Media reports also said the leader of President Moncef Marzouki's Congress for the Republic party had resigned.

Tunisia was plunged into a political crisis after the assassination on Feb. 6 of a leftist opposition politician sparked anti-government riots around the country.

Jebali, who is second in command of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, was seeking to forge a consensus on his controversial proposal to form a non-partisan administration, designed to avert political turmoil, and earlier vowed to step down if the initiative was thwarted.

FRANCE 24 correspondent Mischa Benoit-Lavelle said Jebali’s statement to the press was a "terse" admission that he could not secure the political support needed to move forward. “He simply was not able to come up with the political consensus necessary to get approval for his plan,” Benoit-Lavelle said, reporting from Tunis.

Even Jebali’s own Ennahda had party rejected the initiative, which had nonetheless received opposition support.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-02-16

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