TUNIS: Tunisia’s ruling Islamists and opposition parties held talks yesterday to agree on a new prime minister who will lead a caretaker government, under an agreement to end months of unrest in the north African country.
Former central bank members and economists are the leading candidates for the post.
The ruling Islamist party Ennahda and secular opponents earlier this month reached a deal for the government to resign in three weeks to make way for a non-partisan administration and elections at a date to be agreed. The deal is aimed at ending unrest after the assassination of two opposition leaders by militants earlier this year in the country which inspired the 2011 Arab Spring revolts.
Tunisia, where divisions over the role of Islam in politics have grown since the 2011 revolt, has been seen as a regional model for the transition to democracy and the outcome of the talks will be widely watched by neighbouring countries. Ten key candidates are under debate by a committee made up of representatives of the government, opposition parties and two figures from non-government organisations.
Government and opposition party officials said among those most likely to be chosen were Mustafa Kamel Nabli, a former central bank governor, Mansour Moalla, a former economy minister and businessman, and Jaloul Ayed, a former finance minister.