Tunisia PM says committed to 'principle' of resigning



TUNIS- Tunisia's Islamist Prime Minister Ali Larayedh said on Wednesday that his government was committed to the "principle" of resigning in line with a roadmap to end months of political deadlock.
"We repeat today our commitment to the principle of relinquishing power in line with the different phases envisaged in the roadmap," Larayedh said in a keenly awaited speech.



Tunisia PM says committed to 'principle' of resigning
"We will not submit to anyone except the interests of the country," he added.
Until now the prime minister has said he would step down only after a new constitution has been adopted.
The opposition has been waiting for a "clear commitment" by the prime minister to quit within three weeks, as stipulated in the roadmap drawn up by mediators and agreed to by his Islamist party Ennahda, to allow a national dialogue to begin.
Mediators hope the dialogue between Tunisia's bitterly divided political factions will mark a crucial step in the country's democratic transition and end the crisis triggered by the July murder of opposition MP Mohamed Brahmi.
The opposition has not immediately reacted to Larayedh's statement, which came five hours later than planned and held up the planned launch on Wednesday afternoon of the long awaited national dialogue.
But thousands of opposition activists took to the streets of the capital earlier demanding the Ennahda-led government's immediate departure.
Under the terms of the roadmap, the talks must lead within three weeks to the formation of a caretaker cabinet of technocrats.
Negotiators will also have one month to adopt a new constitution, electoral laws and a timetable for fresh elections.
These are key milestones in a transition that has effectively been blocked by wrangling between the Islamists, their coalition allies and the opposition.
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Wednesday, October 23rd 2013
AFP
           


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