February 19, 2013 - 11:49 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Tunisia's main political parties failed to agree on forming a non-partisan cabinet to tackle turmoil triggered by the assassination of an opposition leader, Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said on Monday, Feb 18, according to Reuters.
But he said efforts would continue to form a government supported by most parties in the North African state that spawned the slew of popular uprisings against dictatorship across the Arab world two years ago.
"The initiative for a cabinet of technocrats did not receive full political consensus and has failed...But work is continuing with all parties to form a government which has the agreement of most of the political parties," Jebali told a news conference.
He spoke after a meeting with leaders of secular political parties and his own Islamist Ennahda party, which has denied any involvement in Belaid's killing.
Jebali suggested a cabinet of apolitical technocrats to help restore calm and guide Tunisia to elections. He had threatened to quit if his proposal failed but on Monday he said only: "I will meet the president tomorrow to discuss the next steps."
The political crisis has disrupted efforts to revitalize an economy that was hard-hit by the disorder that followed the overthrow of veteran strongman Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.
Tunisia has been negotiating with the International Monetary Fund for a $1.78 billion loan, and politicians said Jebali's inability to re-establish a functioning government was retarding economic rebuilding efforts.