Skip to main content

Tunisia's interim prime minister to step down

By Ammar Ben Aziz and Marie-Louise Gumuchian, CNN
January 9, 2014 -- Updated 1531 GMT (2331 HKT)
Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh speaks on October 5.
Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh speaks on October 5.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ali Laarayedh's resignation is part of a deal struck between the government and opposition
  • New PM expected to announce a caretaker government by the end of the week
  • The assassination last year of two opposition politicians triggered growing unrest
  • Tunisia is seen as the birthplace of the Arab Spring movement

(CNN) -- Tunisia's interim Prime Minister Ali Laarayedh has confirmed that he will submit his resignation Thursday, the state news agency reported, as part of a deal aimed at putting the North African country's transition to democracy back on track.

His successor, Industry Minister Mehdi Jomaa, is expected to announce a new caretaker government before the end of the week.

Laarayedh will hand his resignation to President Moncef Marzouki Thursday afternoon, the state-run TAP news agency said.

Tunisia -- the cradle of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings that toppled autocratic leaders in one of the most conservative corners of the world -- has been in crisis since the killings of two secular opposition leaders by gunmen last year.

Thursday's move is in line with an agreement between the government and opposition last year to end a political deadlock.

That deal foresaw the ruling Islamist Ennahda party handing over power once parties had finished writing a new constitution and appointed an electoral commission to oversee new elections.

Tunisia's national assembly has been voting on the last clauses of the new charter this week and on Wednesday appointed the electoral committee.

The once-banned moderate Islamist Ennahda party won elections in October 2012 -- the first after the January 2011 ouster of former autocratic leader Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali -- and formed an Islamist-led government.

But political turmoil has beset the North African country, which relies heavily on foreign tourists for revenue, and the presidency has declared a state of emergency.

Editors' Note: This article has been edited to remove plagiarized content after CNN discovered multiple instances of plagiarism by Marie-Louise Gumuchian, a former CNN news editor.

CNN's Laura Smith-Spark and Saad Abedine 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