Skip to main content

President's party to quit coalition government in Tunisia

By CNN Staff
updated 9:28 AM EST, Fri February 15, 2013
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
updated 5:45 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
Pakistan Taliban say the school attack was revenge for the killing of children in a military offensive -- but they are being pressed by defections to ISIS.
A group that claims it hacked Sony Pictures has posted a public threat against moviegoers who see Sony's "The Interview."
updated 9:43 PM EST, Wed December 17, 2014
The gunman behind the deadly siege in Sydney this week was not on a security watch list, and Australia's Prime Minister wants to know why.
updated 4:48 AM EST, Thu December 18, 2014
Bestselling author Marjorie Liu had set her sights on being a lawyer, but realized it wasn't what she wanted to do for the rest of her life.
updated 3:27 PM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
CNN's Matthew Chance looks into an HRW report saying Russia has "legalized discrimination against LGBT people."
updated 9:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
The Sydney siege has brought home some troubling truths to Australians. They are not immune to what are often called "lone-wolf" terror attacks.
updated 7:12 PM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
A social media campaign condemning Islamophobia under the hashtag #illridewithyou has taken off after Sydney hostage siege.
Bill Cosby has kept quiet as sexual assault allegations mounted against him, but his wife, Camille, finally spoke out in defense of her husband.
updated 6:44 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
China-bound AirAsia flight turns back to Bangkok after passenger throws water over crew member.
updated 5:26 AM EST, Mon December 15, 2014
It takes Nepalese eye doctor, Sanduk Ruit about five minutes to change someone's life.
updated 5:54 AM EST, Tue December 16, 2014
This epic journey crosses 13,000 kilometers, eight countries over 21 days. Find out where.
updated 9:31 AM EST, Fri December 19, 2014
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