Tunisian president: Rivals agreed on PM

The Tunisian president has claimed that the opposition has agreed on a new prime minister, but he stopped short of giving a name, saying the decision would be announced early next week.

Tunisian president: Rivals agreed on PM

World Bulletin / News Desk

Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki said Friday that the country's political rivals had reached an agreement on the new prime minister as part of efforts to end the country's longstanding political crisis.

"The name of the new prime minister has been agreed upon," Marzouki told Anadolu Agency in a Friday interview that will later be published in full.

The Tunisian leader stopped short of naming the new premier, however, saying it would be announced early next week.

Marzouki stressed that the country could not endure "another summer" without a new government, asserting that parliamentary polls should be held before summer.

"We would not endure another summer without a stable government, national reconciliation and a [political] program," Marzouki said in the interview, held in the Carthage presidential palace in Tunis.

Tunisia's political rivals have been in talks over the formation of a new caretaker government aimed at ending the current crisis, which was triggered by the July assassination of opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi.

Brahmi was shot dead outside his home near Tunis on July 25, which led to a general strike and days of protests that paralyzed the capital.

At the time, security officials said Brahmi had been assassinated with the same weapons used to kill another opposition figure, Chokri Belaid, in February.

Authorities blame both assassinations – along with the recent killing of eight soldiers on Tunisia's western Chaambi Mountain – on radical Salafists.

Last month, representatives from the government and a number of opposition parties came together for talks that they hoped would pull the country out of its political paralysis.

The country's Ennahda-led government has already agreed to resign so that a new, temporary cabinet could be formed to run the country's affairs until elections.

However, the two camps remain deeply split over who should be chosen to take the helm of the new administration.

"The figure who will head the government knows that his mission will last for six months and that elections should be held within these six months with no room for delay," Marzouki told AA.

Marzouki asserted that the upcoming government would be "the last transitional government."

"The new prime minister will have the job of assuring all political sides, including Ennahda and the opposition parties, and ensuring that elections are held in calm atmosphere," he said.

The Tunisian leader believes that the country's current climate is suitable for holding polls.

"The people now know all the parties' platforms, and for the past two and half years, they have been listening to all sides," he said.

"The image is now clear; the people will give legitimacy to the next [post-election] government," he added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 16 Kasım 2013, 10:37