World Bulletin / News Desk
Tunisia's ruling Ennahda and their opponents will start three weeks of negotiations on Saturday to allow the government to step down and make way for a caretaker cabinet until elections, a labour union mediating the talks said.
The Ennahda party agreed at the weekend to a deal under which the government would resign after the talks as a way to end months of political deadlock in the country where the Arab Spring uprisings began.
The powerful UGTT union, which brokered talks between the sides, said in a statement on Thursday that the negotiations would begin on Saturday, to make way for a non-partisan administration and set a date for parliamentary and presidential elections.
"The start of the dialogue is a step to ending this crisis," said Lotfi Zitoun, a senior Ennahda official.
The crisis erupted in July after the killing of an opposition leader by suspected Islamist militants - the second this year. The turmoil has weakened the North African country's economic outlook and raised concerns among its international lenders.
Since autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was toppled in 2011, divisions have widened over the political role of Islam in what has long been one of the Muslim world's most secular nations.
Those differences may still hamper talks where both sides must agree on how to finish writing a new constitution, on when to hold elections, and on other issues such as the composition of a new electoral body to oversee any vote.Güncelleme Tarihi: 05 Ekim 2013, 11:04