Politicians and members of the public expressed mixed reactions to Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali’s announcement last night that his proposal to create a technocratic government has failed.
It is “as if Jebali’s first suggestion was a solution to calm things after the assassination of Chokri Belaid,” said Fadhel Moussa, a member of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) in the opposition from Al Massar party, which had supported Jebali’s initiative.
Jebali first called for a new government of non-political technocrats after the February 6 assassination of opposition leader Belaid. He said he would resign from office if his plan was not adopted.
But in his speech late Monday, Jebali said negotiations would continue concerning the creation of a political coalition government. He was expected to meet with President Moncef Marzouki, the head of the NCA and various political parties Tuesday afternoon.
Mohammed Hamdi, a member of the Democratic Union, told Tunisia Live that various talks must take place before consensus can be reached on an alternative plan.
“Our demands are still hanging and waiting for a solution to all this mess,” he said.
The Democratic Union had seen Jebali’s initiative as the only plan that could shepherd the country through this difficult period. According to Hamdi, a mixture of politicians and technocrats in one government has been suggested as an alternative to Jebali’s plan.
But Hamdi said the prime minister’s previous plan “was a page and it has been turned now. This problem will take awhile and we hope this second plan of a political coalition succeeds rapidly.”
Moussa said he believed Jebali’s plan failed because his own party, Ennahdha, rejected the initiative. He added that Rached Ghannouchi, head of Ennahdha, said last night that those who would enter the new mixed political and technocratic government will not run for office in the general elections.
Zoubeir Chhoudi, member of Ennahdha’s Shura Council, said that the party is in favor of the political coalition recently suggested as an alternative to the pure technocratic government. Concerning the prime minister, he said, “we have to renew our trust in him, but if he resigns then we have to assign someone else.”
Farida Abidi from Ennahdha added that Jebali would be nominated from the party to run the government if he agrees to do so. If not “we have a long list of others,” she said.
Meanwhile, Tunisians on Twitter criticized Jebali’s failure, expressed concerns for the future and even called on the prime minister to resign.
PM #jebali has now lost the little (remaining) credibility he had. He failed but he did not resign as he declared 12 days ago.
— Afef Abrougui (@AfefTN) 18 février 2013
— Khaoula6590 (@Tourterelle6590) 19 février 2013
Jebali continues his pathetic, failed act
— Sami (@Out__rage) 19 février 2013
Jebali, get out!