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 9:45 PM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
ISIS has published a video titled "A second message to America," showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff.
updated 9:35 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions and pleaded for U.S. help in interviews with CNN.
Hundreds of jihadis in Syria are from abroad -- which countries have the biggest problem?
updated 3:51 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
CNN attends a funeral where mourners keep their distance.
updated 5:13 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Libyan militia members have apparently turned the abandoned U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, into a water park.
updated 7:26 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism.
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 8:21 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
In a major breach of privacy, a hacker leaked a series of pictures allegedly showing Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities in the nude.
Instead of weaving garments sold in the West, children should be in school
According to the International Labour Organization, there are 168 million child laborers around the world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT