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Tunisia premier seeks ‘another solution’ after Cabinet plan fails

TUNIS: Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali was yesterday pursuing “another solution” to Tunisia’s biggest political crisis since the uprising two years ago after his plan to form a cabinet of technocrats failed.
Jebali, left out on a limb after his proposals for a non-partisan government were rebuffed by his own ruling Ennahda party, was to meet President Moncef Marzouki to discuss ways to exit the crisis sparked by the February 6 killing of a leftist politician.
“I will go tomorrow (Tuesday) to the president to discuss the next stages, but I noted progress during the political discussions in terms of seeking a consensus around another solution,” Jebali said late Monday after talks with a raft of political leaders.
The new formula should emerge “in the coming days,” he said.
Jebali first floated his initiative in the wake of public outrage over the killing in broad daylight of outspoken government critic Chokri Belaid by a lone gunman outside his Tunis home almost two weeks ago.
Jebali admitted defeat in his plan to form a new government of technocrats, which he had hoped would be able to overcome the political divisions.
“I say in all clarity that the initiative I presented — that is to say, a government composed of members not belonging to any political parties — failed to reach a consensus,” Jebali said Monday.
“Another form of government” was still a possibility, he added.
Jebali had vowed to step down if his controversial proposal to form an apolitical administration was thwarted.
But on Monday he insisted that despite its failure, his initiative had at least succeeded in “getting everyone around a table” and in preventing Tunisia “from falling into the unknown.”


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