Party in Tunisia’s ruling coalition calls to dissolve government

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Tunisia’s Ettakatol party, part of the ruling coalition led by the Islamist Ennahda party, called on Monday for the dissolution of the government to prevent a growing political crisis, Reuters reported.

“We have called for the dissolution of the government in favor of a new unity government that would represent the broadest form of consensus,” Lobni Jribi, a party leader, told Reuters.

“If Ennahda refuses this suggestion, we will withdraw from government.”

Calls to dissolve the Islamist-led government followed the killing last week of secular opposition member Mohammed al-Brahimi.

The police on Monday fired tear gas to disperse stone-throwing protesters in the city of Sidi Bouzid who were demanding the government’s resignation, Agence France-Presse reported.

The demonstrators gathered outside the governor’s office in Sidi Bouzid, Brahimi’s home town.

The protest is the latest in a wave of unrest in Tunisia since the murder of Brahmi, the second opposition figure gunned down since February.

Critics blame the government for failing to curb radical Islamists, whose influence has grown since the 2011 uprising that toppled President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

On Monday, a main square used by pro- and anti-government protesters in Tunis has also been declared a “closed military zone,” Reuters reported.

While protesters on both sides have vowed to return, anti-government demonstrators have already started regrouping near the square, opposition media said.

(With Reuters and AFP)

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