TUNIS: The consultative council of Ennahda, Tunisia’s ruling Islamist party, was meeting today to choose a successor to outgoing premier Hamadi Jebali, who quit after failing to form a new government.
Jebali, who is Ennahda’s number two, resigned on Tuesday after his plan to form a technocrat cabinet, announced in the wake of public outrage over the February 6 murder of leftist politician Chokri Belaid, was rejected by his own party.
The assassination plunged Tunisia into crisis and enflamed political tensions, with the family of Belaid, who was a fierce critic of the ruling Islamists, accusing Ennahda of orchestrating the murder, charges the party strongly denies.
Ennahda’s executive arm was to meet at 1700 GMT, its spokesman Nejib Gharbi was quoted as saying by the official TAP news agency, with four candidates being considered to head the new government.
There are four candidates for the post of prime minister — Ali Larayedh (currently interior minister), Mohamed Ben Salem (agriculture minister), Noureddine Bhiri (justice minister) and Abdellatif Mekki (health minister).