20 February 2013 10:41 am | | 0


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Prime Minister Jebali (L) meets with President Marzouki (R) Tuesday to submit his resignation (Courtesy of the Tunisian Presidency’s official Facebook page)

After Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali submitted his resignation to President Moncef Marzouki last night, speculations are swirling regarding who will lead the country.

Members of Jebali’s ruling party, Ennahdha, have stated they would continue to support him as prime minister if he agrees to hold the position. Yet Jebali’s resignation was prompted by his failure to garner support from his own party and others to form a new technocratic government after the February 6 assassination of opposition leader Chokri Belaid.

“We are still holding on to him as the prime minister, but in case he refuses to remain in his position, we can find an alternative,” said Sahbi Attig, leader of the Ennahdha bloc in the National Constituent Assembly (NCA).

Farida Labidi, a member of Ennahdha in the NCA, said that the party still does not have a clear vision of what will happen next, but it is committed to keeping dialogue open between the party and Jebali.

“We hold the utmost respect for Mr. Jebali,” she said. “But if we don’t reach any consensus concerning his new terms with our (political allies), we will have to nominate someone else in his place in case he maintains his resignation.”

According to Zoubeir Chehoudi, a member of Ennahdha’s Shura Council, Jebali remains the party’s first choice for prime minister.

But Jebali’s adviser, Abou Yaareb Marzouki, said that Jebali will not change his mind about his decision to resign. Marzouki claimed that Ennahdha will not be able to meet Jebali’s conditions, which included setting a specific date for general elections and avoiding political tension.

“Jebali is now playing his credibility card, and cannot jeopardize that, as he made clear last night,” Marzouki said. “He will not accept any compromise concerning his decisions.”

President Moncef Marzouki is expected to meet with Ennahdha founder Rached Ghannouchi this afternoon to discuss the current political situation.

Amira Masrour contributed reporting

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