Skip to main content

President's party to quit coalition government in Tunisia

By CNN Staff
February 15, 2013 -- Updated 1428 GMT (2228 HKT)
Mourners carry the coffin of late opposition leader Chokri Belaid during his funeral procession. Belaid was buried on Friday.
Mourners carry the coffin of late opposition leader Chokri Belaid during his funeral procession. Belaid was buried on Friday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The party reportedly has three ministers and two secretaries of state
  • The officials will "continue to shoulder their responsibilities," a party leader says
  • Tunisia faces political unrest after a rare political assassination

(CNN) -- Members of the president's party in Tunisia will quit the coalition government, the state-run news agency TAP reported Sunday.

The move threatens to worsen a political crisis, set off after an opposition leader was assassinated there last week.

The Congress for the Republic Party, which counts Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki among its ranks, has three ministers and two secretaries of state in the government, TAP reported.

The five officials will "continue to shoulder their responsibilities within their respective departments to avoid any administrative vacuum," TAP said, citing Chokri Yacoub, a party leader.

Tunisian PM: We aren't in a dictatorship
Supporters rally at funeral for Belaid
Grief, anger spill into Tunisian streets

The news comes one day after Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said he would step down if a caretaker government he is forming fails to win approval from Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly.

In response to the shooting death of Chokri Belaid, Jebali sacked his government and said he would appoint a new one to serve until the next election.

However, a top official of Jebali's own Ennahda party labeled Jebali's moves "non-binding," raising questions about his leadership.

Belaid, a prominent secular politician who decried violence, was shot dead as he left his home Wednesday morning for work. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Belaid's widow and others blamed the climate fostered by Jebali's Ennahda party.

Jebali denied that Ennahda had anything do with Belaid's killing and said he hoped to get approval for his new government from his party and others.

"The government, I feel, is backed by a lot of people, mainly among ordinary people. I hope that political parties will translate the view of our people," Jebali said Friday.

As he spoke, thousands of Tunisians demonstrated in the streets of the capital in outrage over the assassination, calling on Jebali to resign.

The killing of Belaid was the country's first high-profile political assassination since Tunisia's "Jasmine Revolution" that toppled President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali two years ago and spawned the Arab Spring.

CNN's Joseph Netto contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1903 GMT (0303 HKT)
For years, Morten Storm moved between two worlds. A radical Islamist turned double agent is lifting the lid on some of the world's best-kept secrets.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1534 GMT (2334 HKT)
What will happen to Scotland's business (not to mention its currency) if they vote to leave?
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
The Ebola virus, very deadly and currently without a cure, is fast-spreading throughout the small West African country.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1324 GMT (2124 HKT)
Go to any provincial city in China and you'd be forgiven for thinking the national youth pastimes are online gaming and flirting.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
ISIS has captured the minds of a new generation of global jihadists. What does it mean for al Qaeda?
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 2232 GMT (0632 HKT)
ISIS has slaughtered hundreds. Now nearly 40 nations have agreed to take the fight to the militants. But what can they do?
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 0851 GMT (1651 HKT)
North Korea calls its human rights a "superior system."
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 0929 GMT (1729 HKT)
In Wenzhou, called the "Jerusalem of China," authorities have demolished churches.
Are you Muslim? What do you want the world to know about your religion?
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1429 GMT (2229 HKT)
A number of Paralympic athletes in Ghana are hoping to use sport to change negative public perceptions.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1142 GMT (1942 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT