Tunisia prime minister defies party over way ahead

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TUNISIA’S moderate Islamist prime minister said yesterday he would continue to defy his own party and attempt to form a government of technocrats by tomorrow.

Hamadi Jebali, right, said he would either succeed in his bid to solve the north African country’s crisis, following the assassination of an opposition politician, or he would resign.

He plans talks with representatives of all Tunisia’s political parties to day to see if he can overcome opposition to his plan, led by his own party, Ennahda.

It wants to retain political control of the democratisation of Tunisia, involving the approval in a referendum of a new constitution. Even though Mr Jebali is secretary general of Ennahda, his plan for a non-partisan caretaker government is fiercely opposed.

Left-wing politician Chokri Belaid, 48, was shot four times through the window of his car outside his home earlier this month, setting off anti-government riots and the withdrawal of opposition politicians from the constituent assembly.