Things aren't going so hot over in Tunisia. First, somebody assassinates an opposition leader. Then, after the prime minister's failed attempt to shuffle the cabinet, the president's own party straight up quit the government. On Sunday, the cabinet members from Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki's secular party, Congress for the Republic, announced that they were quitting the coalition and, hence, the government — which is unfortunate because the coalition seemed to be about all that was holding the government together.
As the country's struggled with partisan in-fighting, experts say, things are looking increasingly dicey for Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali who's also the head of Ennahda, the country's moderate Islamist party. In the wake of the assassination of opposition party leader Chokri Belaid last week, Jebali said that he would form a new government made up completely of technocrats with no political affiliation. That did not go over well as the Ennahda party argued that the ministers were democratically elected. Jebali said that he'd present a new proposal this week, and if it's rejected, too, he'll resign. "Now Ennahda no longer has a government coalition to kick out Jebali," Riccardo Fabiani, an analyst for the London-based Eurasia Group, told the Associated Press. "This could stir up increased tension on the street and lead to more violence."
The withdrawl of Congress for the Republic's three cabinet ministers is expected on Monday, and it seems like it will be a symbolic blow to both the prime minster and the president more than anything. Marzouki appointed Jebali, so he was already looking bad when Jebali stumbled over how to handle the outrage after Belaid's assassination. So when his own party members quit the government, he just looked silly. However, since they were only three in a cabinet of 25, the damage done to the integrity of the coalition could've been worse. Of course, it has all week to get worse.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.
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