Wednesday, February 20, 2013
TUNIS — As Tunisia’s leaders seek consensus on a new prime minister after Hamadi Jbeli quit, they’re also battling to stop the country sliding deeper into a political crisis.
Jbeli, secretary-general of the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, resigned late Tuesday after failing to form a technocratic government to ease tensions after the assassination of an opposition leader earlier this month. Ennahda, which holds the most seats in parliament and opposed Jbeli’s plan, said today it favored re-nominating him.
Ennahda’s chief, Rashid Ghannouchi, met with President Moncef Marzouki and told reporters that negotiations are still ongoing. He said a new Cabinet must be completed by the end of the week, and repeated a call for a government combining party figures with “competent” individuals from outside politics, in a nod to the technocrat idea. Jbeli has rejected that formula.