Tunisia political crisis deepens


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.

قط اضغط جام وأطلب الرحمة

قط اضغط جام وأطلب الرحمة

“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.



Assassination of Leftist Leader Sparks Mass Protests in Tunisia

Latest murder follows February assassination of leftist opposition figure Chokri Belaid

staff writer Sarah Lazare

Thousands protested in Tunisia’s streets Thursday after leftist opposition party leader Mohammed Brahmi was assassinated at his home earlier in the day.

A head figure in the secularist Popular Front and a visible critic of the ruling Ennahda party, Brahmi’s assassination comes just months after Popular Front leader Chokri Belaid was gunned down earlier this year.

Brahmi was reportedly killed in front of his wife and daughter, and the gunmen fled on motorbikes.

“This criminal gang has killed the free voice of Brahmi,” his widow Mbarka Brahmi told Reuters Thursday, although she did not say who she thinks killed him.

Thousands gathered in cities throughout Tunisia to protest the assassination, including in front of the Tunis Interior Ministry and the Ariana district hospital where Brahmi’s body was transported.

The crowds chanted slogans demanding that the ruling Ennahda party resign and calling for the downfall of Islamists—a reference to the Islamist Ennahda party— according to media reports.

Ennahda says it condemns the murder, yet many of those gathered in the streets charge that the ruling party is directly responsible for the killing.

Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui—deputy Middle East and North Africa program director at Amnesty International—told the LA Times that the government has at least some culpability:

Little has been done by the authorities to ensure that reported attacks against members of the opposition are adequately investigated and those responsible are brought to justice, fueling a climate of impunity and increasing political polarization.

The assassination of Chokri Belai in February prompted the largest mass protests since Tunisia’s ‘Arab Spring’ uprisings that toppled Ben Ali in 2011.

Many in Tunisia are calling for a second revolution against the Ennahda party now in power, in response to their harsh repression of political dissent, derailment of democracy, crackdown on women’s rights, and continuation of ousted Ben Ali’s neoliberal economic policies that deepen poverty and unemployment.

Tunisia’s rebel movement is calling for a dissolution of Parliament and urging Tunisians to take to the streets.

Further reading available at: https://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/07/25-7

National dialogue on the sharing of power in Tunisia

Tunisia reaches power sharing deal

Leading Tunisian political parties continued the national dialogue on Tuesday (May 7th), focusing on ways to address violence.

The meeting followed a deal last week where parties reached a consensus on power sharing after Ennahda proposed that the presidency and the prime minister split control of the executive.


Political parties of Tunisia reject violence in national dialogue

Tunisia national dialogue rejects violence

Participants in Tunisia’s second national dialogue condemned all forms of post-revolution violence, stressing that only the state had the right to use force.

Unlike the first round of talks last October, the meeting that wrapped up on Thursday (May 16th) involved all Tunisian political parties.