Tunisia PM Hamadi Jebali resigns

  • Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali resigned on Tuesday after failing to reach an agreement on forming a new government.

    Jebali had set out to form a new coalition following the political crisis triggered by the killing of opposition leader Chokri Belaid.

    He had said he would step down if his Islamist Ennahda party did not back his plan for a non-partisan government of technocrats

    Belaid's assassination on February 6 sparked mass protests and resignations from Tunisia's coalition government.

    Jebali's resignation comes despite Ennahda's leader Rached Ghannouchi stating Monday that all parties in the coalition talks had wanted the prime minister to remain in office.

    The Ennahda still hopes it can put together a coalition as the country heads into early elections.

    Ghannouchi is expected to meet President Moncef Marzouki later in the day to discuss the political stalemate.

    Supporters of the secular opposition have blamed Ennahda for Belaid's assassination, which the party has denied.

    Belaid’s death was the first political assassination in Tunisia since the revolution in January 2011 ousted the country's autocratic leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali from power and also inspired the "Arab Spring" uprisings across the region.

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