Tunisian president's party puts off withdrawal from gov't

Updated: 2013-02-12 03:17


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TUNIS - The Tunisian Congress for the Republic (CPR) party, which Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki hails from, decided to postpone the withdrawal from the current government for a week, said a leading member of the party on Monday.

Speaking at a press conference here on Monday, Mohamed Abbou, secretary general of the CPR, said the decision came after contacts with the ruling Ennahdha party members, who confirmed that the Islamist party would fulfill CPR party's demands during the coming days.

Abbou meanwhile noted that his party "is against forming a technocrat government as it may include some figures of the former regime."

On Sunday, the state-run TAP news agency reported that the CPR party decided to withdraw from the Islamist Ennahdha-led coalition in response to its handling of the country's recent crisis triggered by the assassination of an opposition leader, Chokri Belaid, on Wednesday.

Thousands of Tunisians flocked into the capital's main avenue to denounce the politically-motivated assassination of Belaid, leader of the Popular Front and an outspoken critic, and demand the departure of the current government.

Also on Wednesday, Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced his plan to form a new government of technocrats until elections take place. He then said on Saturday that he would appoint a new cabinet composed of independent technocrats, sometime "in the middle of next week."

The CPR, one of Tunisia's leading coalition parties in the government, has previously threatened to leave if an agreement among the three parties (with Ennahdha and Ettakatol) is not reached.

The CPR's decision to withdraw from the government is seen as the prelude of a deepening political crisis in the North African nation.