Tunisia's CPR stays in government to give talks a chance

Published February 12th, 2013 - 08:30 GMT
CPR Secretary General Mohamed Abbou gestures during a press conference in Tunis on Monday (Photo courtesy of AFP / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA)
CPR Secretary General Mohamed Abbou gestures during a press conference in Tunis on Monday (Photo courtesy of AFP / GIANLUIGI GUERCIA)

Tunisian President Moncef Mazrouki's secular party on Monday reversed its decision to withdraw from the Islamist-led government, an official said. 

Congress for the Republic (CPR) Secretary-General, Mohamed Abbou, told a news conference that the party will stay in the government for another week to give talks a chance. 

"The party has decided to freeze the resignations of its ministers for a week for more discussions on a coalition government," he said.

The CPR had earlier threatened to quit the government if two Islamist ministers from Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali’s party, Ennahada, were not replaced.

The demands came amid growing political tensions following last week's assassination of opposition politician Chokri Belaid, which many have pinned on Ennahada. 

While Ennahada has denied any responsibility, the killing triggered three days of violent protests calling for the government's resignation.  

Abbou told the news conference on Monday: “Two days ago we presented the resignation of our ministers, but we were contacted yesterday evening by the leaders of Ennahda, who replied favourably to all our demands.” 

Meanwhile, several hundred opposition supporters, including Mr Belaid's wife, Besma, continued protesting outside the Constituent Assembly in Tunis on Monday. 

"They must go, all of them, including the prime minister. The game is over," she told Reuters news agency.

"If they stay, one fears to see other assassinations in this climate of fear and violence," she said. 


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