Tunisia racked with conflict

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In the last few years, Tunisia has been plagued with problems. On February 6, 2013 the country fell into a crisis situation when Chokri Belaid was shot dead outside his home near the capital, Tunis. Belaid was a politician and lawyer best known as an opposition leader with the Democratic Patriots’ Movement. Although the Democratic Patriots’ Movement has been around since the early 80’s, it was only legalized in 2011 after the Tunisian revolution. Since that time, Belaid had been working tirelessly for the party and was a strong vocal critic against the Islamist-led Tunisian government.

The assassination of Belaid resulted in numerous anti-government rallies around the country and crippled the weak confidence the people had in the Islamist Ennahda party who currently lead the Cabinet.

Rachid Ghannouchi who heads the Ennahda party has been in talks with Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali regarding a course of action. Jebali proposed new elections led by a technocratic government and even threatened his resignation if his ideas were not accepted. He envisioned a Cabinet devoid of political parties. However, Jebali’s initiative failed to gain the support needed to be put into action and he recently acknowledged his failure. It should be noted that while detailing his plans to speak to President Moncef Marzouki this week, Jebali did not announce any plans to step down. The Ennahda party has spoken out saying it would like Jebali to remain in his position but more should be known later this week.

At this point, sources say the leaders of the main parties are hoping to hold new elections as soon as possible and have agreed on a limited Cabinet. The world watches and waits and hopes for peace to return to this battle scarred country.

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