Skip to main content

President's party to quit coalition government in Tunisia

By CNN Staff
February 15, 2013 -- Updated 1428 GMT (2228 HKT)
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
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1550 GMT (2350 HKT)
Experts believe that ISIS may be using a Spanish enclave to bring jihad to Europe.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
With an efficient subway, inexpensive taxis and a good public bus system, Hong Kong is normally an easy city to navigate ...
September 28, 2014 -- Updated 2332 GMT (0732 HKT)
CNN's Ivan Watson was in the middle of a pro-democracy protest in Hong Kong when things got out of hand.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 2012 GMT (0412 HKT)
The world's animal population has halved in 40 years as humans put unsustainable demands on Earth, a new report warns.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1249 GMT (2049 HKT)
Every day, refugees and migrants risk their lives as they seek a new life. Now, a new report puts a figure to the number of victims.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1442 GMT (2242 HKT)
Mainstream commentators must promote positive role models to Muslims feeling victimized, writes Ghaffar Hussain.
September 29, 2014 -- Updated 0613 GMT (1413 HKT)
Two men familiar with inside knowledge of ISIS speak with CNN's Arwa Damon.
Explore CNN's interactive that explains ISIS' roots, what it controls, and where its support comes from.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 2010 GMT (0410 HKT)
In his first-ever interview as the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani defended his country against allegations of funding terrorism.
September 27, 2014 -- Updated 1503 GMT (2303 HKT)
The North Korean leader hasn't been seen for weeks, leading to speculation that he is in poor health.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0154 GMT (0954 HKT)
Haider al-Abadi hopes airstrikes don't lead to "of another terrorist element" instead of ISIS.
September 25, 2014 -- Updated 1319 GMT (2119 HKT)
The United States couldn't do it on its first try. Neither could the Soviets.
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 1529 GMT (2329 HKT)
CNN's Nima Elbagir reflects on a harrowing trip to Liberia where she covered the deadliest Ebola outbreak in history.
September 26, 2014 -- Updated 1423 GMT (2223 HKT)
Contrary to public opinion, rats can actually save lives -- Apopo's rats have actually saved thousands.
September 30, 2014 -- Updated 1336 GMT (2136 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT