Ennahda rejects move to fire govt



Reuters

Published — Friday 8 February 2013

Last update 8 February 2013 1:06 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

TUNIS: Tunisia’s governing party rejected yesterday a plan by its chief and prime minister to dismiss the government after the shooting of a leading critic, whose death sparked the biggest street protests since a revolution two years ago.
Prime Minister Hamdi Jebali of Ennahda announced late on Wednesday he would replace the government led by his party with a non-partisan Cabinet until elections could be held as soon as possible.
But a senior Ennahda official said Jebali had not consulted the party, suggesting the group was deeply divided over the move to replace the governing coalition and that could prolong the political crisis.
“The prime minister did not ask the opinion of his party,” said Abdelhamid Jelassi, Ennahda’s vice-president.
“We in Ennahda believe Tunisia needs a political government now. We will continue discussions with other parties about forming a coalition government,” he said.
The North African state’s main opposition parties also rejected any move to form a government of experts and demanded they be consulted before any new cabinet is formed.
Jebali announced he was dissolving the government on Wednesday after leading secular opposition politician Chokri Belaid was gunned down outside his home in Tunis, sending protesters onto the streets across the country.
A crowd in Tunis set fire to the headquarters of Ennahda, which won the most seats in legislative elections 16 months ago.
Protests also spread to Sidi Bouzid, the birthplace of the Jasmine Revolution that toppled President Zine Al-Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. Although Belaid had only a modest political following, his sharp criticism of Ennahda policies spoke for many Tunisians who fear that religious radicals are stifling freedoms won in the first of the Arab Spring uprisings.
The opposition Nida Touns, Republican, Popular Front and Massar parties demanded that Jebali — who planned to stay on as caretaker prime minister — talk to them before making any move to dissolve his Cabinet. “The situation has changed now ... Consultations with all parties are essential,” said Maya Jribi, head of the secular Republican party.
“All the government, including the prime minister, should resign,” added Beji Caid Essebsi, a former prime minister who heads the secular Nida Touns.
Political analyst Salem Labyed said the opposition appeared to want to leverage the crisis to its own advantage and that prolonged political uncertainty could kindle more unrest. “It seems that the opposition wants to secure the maximum possible political gains ..., but the fear is that the country’s crisis will deepen if things remain unclear at the political level.
“That could increase the anger of supporters of the secular opposition, which may go back to the streets again,” he said.
Police yesterday deployed in force in Tunis amid fears the murder could reignite nationwide violence. Most of the forces were deployed in Habib Bourguiba Avenue, epicenter of the 2011 uprising that toppled ex-dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Despite the police presence, around 300 protesters marched down the avenue chanting, “The people want the fall of the regime.” Police did not immediately react.
Shops reopened in center of the city, but many of them kept their shutters down to protect their windows.
While opposition parties and unions refrained from calling people onto the streets yesterday, spontaneous protests that erupted in a dozen towns and cities the previous day served as a reminder that social upheaval remains a real threat.
This was emphasized when protesters clashed early yesterday with police in the central town of Gafsa, throwing petrol bombs at the police, who fired large quantities of tear gas to disperse them.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman prays inside the historic Quba Mosque in Madinah. The king was accompanied by Prince Muqrin, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, head of the Presidency of the Two Holy Mosques and Prince Sultan bin Salman, ch...
JEDDAH: Shop rentals at certain malls have risen by 200 percent, with this cost likely to be passed on to the consumer, the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) said here recently. Muhammad Al-Shehri, chairman of the JCCI’s textiles and gar...
JEDDAH: People with special needs can now visit a park that has dedicated services for them.Jeddah Mayor Hani Abu Ras opened Al-Erada Park in Al-Salama district on Prince Sultan Street on Thursday.“The Kingdom provides special care for people with di...
JEDDAH: Is involvement in social media the right thing or wrong, particularly in the month of Ramadan? There is a difference of opinion with some arguing that it eats into the time that should be spent praying while some backing it for its religious...
RIYADH: The Argentine government has thanked the Kingdom for previously hosting its Umrah pilgrims for free.“They were part of a group invited by then Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah,” said Ambassador Jaime Sergio Cerda on Thursday.“T...
RIYADH: The Ministry of Education’s counseling department has approved the Rifq Program for the physical and psychological well-being of students.Nabil Mohammad Al-Budair, director of counseling for boys, said the program aims to reduce violence in p...
RIYADH: Sales of fireworks at public markets and main roads in Riyadh have increased during Ramadan, despite the Ministry of Commerce and Industry announcing a SR5,000 reward for anyone providing information about warehouses storing these dangerous i...
RIYADH: The General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI) has reported that there were 69,241 work-related accidents in 2014, with expatriates making up 65,509 or 94.6 percent and Saudis 3,732.The accidents were in nine sectors with building and c...
JEDDAH: The Health Ministry’s expenditures over the past five years increased from SR29.29 billion to SR53.73 billion, an increase of about 83 percent.According to a study detailing the ministry’s expenditures between 2008 and 2012 issued by the mini...
RIYADH: Five people from the southern Indian state of Kerala were killed in a road accident at Salwa near Dammam in the Eastern Province early Thursday morning.Manoj Kumar, community welfare attache at the Indian Embassy, told Arab News that the vict...
MAKKAH: The government has deployed eight helicopters over Makkah to track the movement of vehicles and people, and assist in security tasks and medical evacuations.Maj. Gen. Mohammad Al-Harbi, commander of the Interior Ministry’s aviation security d...
JAZAN: A Yemeni woman (A.M.) has once again experienced freedom and a renewed sense of hope in life after reuniting with her family last week on her release from Jazan General Prison, where she spent six years on charges of murder of a citizen in the...
RIYADH: A delegation from the Kingdom recently visited the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to explore that country’s successful experience in tourism, in a bid to further develop the sector. Saudi Arabia has been making all-out efforts to promote tourism,...
RIYADH: The Justice Ministry has appointed 1,145 candidates for jobs in the judiciary and urged them to complete the requirements for their final appointment. The candidates in the sixth and fourth ranks are requested to fulfill employment prerequisi...
JEDDAH: Four thousand Djibouti workers are expected to arrive in the Kingdom over the next few months following the labor pact signed between the two countries last month.Speaking to a local publication recently, Djibouti Ambassador Diaa Eddin Saeed...

Stay Connected

Facebook