Listen to music while browsing

Larayedh 'to unveil new Tunisia government on Friday'

By AFP


Prime Minister-designate Ali Larayedh arrives to give a press conference on March 7, 2013 in Tunis. By Fethi Belaid (AFP)


TUNIS (AFP) - Tunisia's new coalition government will be unveiled on Friday, premier-designate Ali Larayedh said, after a deal was reached in last-minute talks aimed at ending the country's political crisis.

"After marathon negotiations, we have reached an agreement on the government... we are going to give it the final touch tomorrow morning" before presenting the plan to the president, Larayedh said late Thursday.

Larayedh, the outgoing interior minister, added that the parties had reached an agreement on a political program for the new government that would guide its priorities, policies and commitments, according to President Moncef Marzouki's office.

The president's office had earlier said that the new cabinet lineup would be unveiled by Larayedh late on Thursday. No reason was given for the delay.

Larayedh was tapped on February 22 to head a new government, with a two-week deadline to present his team and government programme to Marzouki. The deadline runs out at midnight on Friday.

The hopes of Larayedh and his ruling Islamist party Ennahda to form a broadly based coalition appeared compromised after three political parties that had been asked to join earlier announced they were pulling out of the talks.

Consequently, only Ennahda and its secular allies in the previous government -- Marzouki's Congress for the Republic and Ettakatol -- actually took part in discussions about the composition of a new cabinet and a proposed government programme.

Ennahda, to which Larayedh also belongs, has made a key concession in accepting that key ministries such as interior and justice be entrusted to independent candidates.

Tunisia has been in a political crisis since the February assassination of leftist politician Chokri Belaid, a vocal critic of the Islamist-led government.

Belaid's murder led to the resignation of prime minister Hamadi Jebali after he failed to forge a non-partisan government of technocrats when his ruling Ennahda party refused to support his efforts.

If a cabinet is not named by Friday night, Marzouki must choose another politician to form a government.

"Failure doesn't scare me because what is asked of me is to have a clear conscience and make the maximum effort. Everyone will have to take responsibility for the result," Larayedh told Mosaique FM radio.

After the president reviews the plan, the new government lineup must be approved by the National Constituent Assembly within three days.

In addition to the political upheaval, violence and attacks blamed on the ultra-conservative Muslim Salafist movement have rocked Tunisia in recent months.

There have also been protests sparked by growing unemployment and poverty -- the key problems that triggered the 2011 revolution.

Remember IT'S is not the same as ITS but if it's not "it is", then it's its.
By: FRANCIS TAWIAH(Duisb

Guinea opposition urges protests ov

People assist a protester injured during clashes with police at an anti-government protest in Conakry on April 20, 2015.  By Cellou Binani (AFP/File) Thursday, April 23, 2015

Conakry (AFP) - Guinea's opposition called for protests across the country again ...
read more »

Burundi opposition calls for even b

Protesters throw rocks during clashes with police in Cibitoke, north-western Burundi, on April 26, 2015, as protests escalated over a bid by the president to seek a third term.  By Esdras Ndikumana (AFP) Sunday, April 26, 2015

Bujumbura (Burundi) (AFP) - Opponents of a bid by Burundi's president to seek a ...
read more »

Zuma hits back at other African sta

Thousands march in Johannesburg against the recent wave of xenophobic attacks in South Africa on April 23, 2015.  By Gianluigi Guercia (AFP/File) Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Johannesburg (AFP) - President Jacob Zuma on Monday hit out at other African cou ...
read more »

Burundi president sticks to third t

A protest in Musaga on the outskirts of Bujumbura on April 28, 2015.  By Simon Maina (AFP) Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Bujumbura (Burundi) (AFP) - Burundi's President Pierre Nkurunziza will continue ...
read more »