Tunisia’s governing Ennahda party is refusing to dissolve the government, after the killing of opposition politician Chokri Belaid on Wednesday morning.
In response to a day in which tens of thousands of people took to the streets in protest, Tunisia’s prime minister, Hamadi Jebali went on TV to tell the country: “I have decided to form a technocrat government which does not belong to any party.”
Despite Jebali’s announcement, Ennahda is refusing to go along with the plan.
Moderate Islamists Ennahda have led a volatile coaliltion government since 2011.
The party denies any involvment in Belaid’s killing, but is being blamed by many after Belaid made accusations about Ennahda hiring ‘mercenaries’ to disrupt political meetings held by Belaid’s Democratic Patriot party. The Democratic Patriots are part of the leftist Popular Front coalition.
“We’ve called on all the bases of the Popular Front activists around the country not to yield to provocation and not use violence to respond to violence,” said Popular Front member Hamma Hammami.
Opposition parties are calling for a nationwide strike on Thursday.
The situation has slowly been getting out of hand, according Secretary General of the opposition Republican Party Maya Jribi, who said:
“It is the responsibility of the government and those who’ve closed their eyes to the gradual escalation of violence – everyone who helped or was complicit in things that have led to this phenomenon of terror.”
The prominent opposition politician was shot in the head and chest outside his home in the capital Tunis on Wednesday.
His wife, Basma Belaid, said that “he gave his life for his country”.