TUNIS: Tunisian leaders began the search for a new prime minister today to try to lead the North African nation out of its gravest political crisis since an uprising that inspired a wave of Arab revolts two years ago.
Rached Ghannouchi, the powerful head of the main Islamist Ennahda party, said the group had not named anyone to replace Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, who resigned yesterday, but that he expected a new government to emerge this week.
Jebali quit after his plan for an apolitical technocrat cabinet to prepare for elections failed.
He had proposed it after the assassination of opposition leader Chokri Belaid on Feb. 6 shocked Tunisia and widened Islamist-secular rifts.
Eventually it was Jebali’s own Ennahda party that scuppered the idea, extending a political impasse that has cast a shadow over Tunisia’s fledgling democracy and ailing economy.