Technocrat pledge

Copy of MDF01267 REUTERS Tunisian protesters shout slogans during a demonstration after the death of Tunisian opposition leader Chokri Belaid (pictured on flag), outside the Interior ministry in Tunis on Wednesday.

Tunis - Tunisia’s premier has pledged to form a government of technocrats before new elections, after the murder of opposition leader Chokri Belaid sparked deadly protests and attacks on the ruling party’s offices.

Furious demonstrators built barricades in central Tunis on Wednesday and clashed with police, and four opposition groups including Belaid’s Popular Front bloc said they were pulling out of the national assembly.

Islamist Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said after Belaid was shot dead outside his home that he would form a new, non-political administration before fresh elections.

“I have decided to form a government of competent nationals without political affiliation, which will have a mandate limited to managing the affairs of the country until elections are held in the shortest possible time,” he said.

Jebali did not specify that he was dissolving the existing government, nor did he set a date for the reshuffle which must be confirmed by the national assembly. – Sapa-AFP


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