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The secular party of Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has withdrawn its three ministers from the Islamist led Tunisian government, throwing the coalition into further turmoil.

The move has been taken because the party’s demands for cabinet changes have not been met, and was not due to Hamadi Jebali’s decision to try and form a government of technocrats.

Congress for the Republic Party’s official Ben Amor told journalists: “We have been saying for a week if the foreign and justice ministers were not changed we would remove our support from the government.”

Thousands of supporters of the ruling Islamist Ennahda party had shown their backing for Jebali on the streets of Tunis on Saturday.

But the resignation of the three ministers is a further blow to the government and the prime minister, already reeling from the assassination last week of opposition leader Chokri Belaid.

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