By Mona Yahia in Tunis for Magharebia
Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh is refusing to dissolve the government as a way out of the current political crisis caused by the recent murder of an opposition MP, AFP reported. Larayedh on Monday (July 29th) rejected a call by coalition partner Ettakatol for the government’s resignation.
Tunisia has faced anti-government protests following the Thursday assassination of MP Mohamed Brahmi – the second anti-Islamist political figure gunned down in six months.
“This government will stay in office: we are not clinging to power, but we have a duty and a responsibility that we will exercise to the end,” Larayedh said.
“We think that the National Constituent Assembly will complete the electoral code by October 23rd at the latest so elections can be held on December 17th,” he added. The date is symbolic for Tunisia.
On that date in 2010, 26-year-old Mohamed Bouazizi set himself ablaze and ignited the country’s revolution.
“The government will continue its work and its efforts in the economic and social areas,” Larayedh continued. “We are ready for dialogue with those who want dialogue.”
“As for the Constituent Assembly, we will avoid proposing laws that take too much time and we are ready for the inclusion of more political parties and organisations during the remainder of the transitional phase,” he added.
Calls for the formation of a new government in Tunisia increased Tuesday.
“Ali Larayedh did not provide solutions,” said Mahmoud Baroudi of the Democratic Alliance party. “His policy is one of escape forward. His discourse contains threats and warnings to those calling for the overthrow of a government that has failed to protect Tunisians.”
On Monday night, the powerful Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) also demanded change.
“The UGTT calls for the dissolution of the government and the composition of a government’s capacity formed by a consensus figure,” UGTT Secretary-General Deputy Sami Tahri said.
A potential national unity government is gaining support from various parties.
“There is openness to all proposals, including the formation of a government of national unity, but the Constituent Assembly is a red line for us,” Habib Hamdi from Ettakatol told Magharebia.
“For us, the Constituent Assembly is a red line in that we must talk about dissolving it,” Mohsen Marzouk from Nidaa Tounes agreed.
The leftist Popular Front also insisted on seeing the government and the Constituent Assembly adjourned.
Constituent Assembly Speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar called on independent MPs to return to the assembly and complete the remainder of the transitional phase.