Sunday Aug 04, 201305:29 AM GMT
Demonstrators in Tunisian capital support government
Sun Aug 4, 2013 5:15AM
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Protests have been held in Tunisia since the killing of Mohamed Brahmi, the leader of the left-wing Popular Movement party, on July 25. Opposition leader Chokri Belaid was also assassinated in February.”

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Thousands of supporters of the ruling Ennahda Party in Tunisia have held a demonstration in support of the country’s Islamic government.


The demonstrators crowded the Kasbah Square next to the prime minister’s office in the capital, Tunis, on Saturday night, chanting slogans in solidarity with the government.

Ennahda officials said more than 150,000 people attended the gathering, which was one of the largest demonstrations since the 2011 Tunisian revolution.

Meanwhile, Tunisian opposition groups were reportedly planning to hold counter protests outside the Constituent Assembly in the capital.

Protests have been held in Tunisia since the killing of Mohamed Brahmi, the leader of the left-wing Popular Movement party, on July 25. Opposition leader Chokri Belaid was also assassinated in February.

The secular Ettakatol Party says the Ennahda-led coalition should step down due to tensions following the killing of Brahmi.

However, Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has appealed for calm. He says Tunisia needs “national unity.”

The premier also said on July 29 that “this government will stay in office: we are not clinging to power, but we have a duty and a responsibility that we will exercise to the end.”

Larayedh has also proposed December 17 as the date for general elections.

“We think that the National Constituent Assembly will complete the electoral code by October 23 at the latest so elections can be held on December 17.”

On July 26, Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou said the killing of Brahmi was linked to an extremist Salafist movement.

Planned talks between Ennahda and the opposition have failed to produce results as the opponents of the government declined to attend the meeting.

Tunisia has been grappling with political instability and insecurity since the fall of former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

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