Tunisian President asks interior minister to form new government


In a press conference Monday, the founder of Ennahda, Rachid al-Ghannouchi, said: “We do not want Tunisian society to be divided into two ideologically opposed camps, one pro-Sharia and one anti-Sharia. We want above all a constitution that is for all Tunisians, whatever their convictions.”



Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki has asked the country's Interior Minister, Ali Larayedh, a member of the country's main Islamist party, to form a new government, his spokesman said.

According to Agence France-Presse, the president's spokesman told a news conference that the leader of the party, Ehnnahda, had formally nominated Larayedh as a contender for Prime Minister following Hamadi Jebali's exit.

Jebali, who had been Tunisia's Prime Minister from December 2011, resigned earlier this month after his plan for a non-partisan cabinet of technocrats before elections collapsed, largely due to opposition from his own party.

Larayedh is a founding member of Ehnnahda, and previously served as the party's secretary-general. He spent 15 years in jail under the regime of Muhammed Ben Ali, who was forced to leave office after a month of protests in January 2011.

However, his nomination is likely to frustrate liberal Tunisians who accuse the interior ministry of failing to curb violence by Islamists, Reuters reported. Larayedh is also considered to be a member of Ehnnahda's hardline wing, Al Jazeera reported.