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Tunisia's prime minister steps down

By Joe Sterling, CNN
updated 7:22 PM EST, Tue February 19, 2013
Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali meets with members of his cabinet on Tuesday.
Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali meets with members of his cabinet on Tuesday.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The resignation comes two weeks after an assassination rocked the nation
  • People decry the climate fostered by Jebali's party
  • The killing brought Tunisians into the streets

(CNN) -- Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali resigned Tuesday, Tunisian state TV said, the latest development in a nation wracked by political unrest.

He submitted his resignation after the failure of his initiative to form a technocratic government, state TV reported. Jebali told CNN last week he'd step down if the effort was not approved.

He said during a Monday press conference that he was meeting with President Moncef Marzouki to "discuss with him all the possibilities," later adding that he might consider being appointed again under certain circumstances. Jebali did not elaborate.

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It's possible that his ruling Muslim Brotherhood-linked Ennahda party will reappoint him to form another government or choose another politician to do the task.

The move comes amid many turbulent days following the February 6 assassination of Chokri Belaid, a prominent secular politician in the North African country.

No one has claimed responsibility for his murder, but Belaid's widow and others blamed the climate fostered by the Ennahda party.

Thousands of Tunisians demonstrated in the streets of the capital, outraged over the assassination, and called 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.

Journalist Houda Zaghdoudi in Tunis contributed to this report.

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