News / Middle East

Powerful Tunisian Union Calls for Government Dissolution

Members of the Tunisian General Labour Union mark International Workers' Day, Tunis, May 1, 2012.
Members of the Tunisian General Labour Union mark International Workers' Day, Tunis, May 1, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— Tunisia's largest labor union called on Tuesday for the dissolution of the Islamist-led government, increasing pressure on the moderate Ennahda party in the worst political crisis since the country's autocratic leader was toppled.
 
The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) said a technocrat government should replace the one led by Ennahda, which has defied growing calls to resign by a secular opposition emboldened by the overthrow of the Islamist leader in Egypt.
 
The protests against the government in a country that led the first of the Arab Spring revolutions grew on Tuesday, when gunmen killed eight soldiers near the Algerian border in one of the bloodiest attacks on Tunisian troops in decades.
 
"The UGTT calls for dissolving the current government and creating a technocrat government led by an independent figure," secretary Hussein Abbassi said in statement. "We consider this government incapable of continuing its work."
 
Tunisians fear the return of political chaos just two years after autocratic leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was forced to flee during an uprising that set off revolts across the Middle East called the Arab Spring.
 
The UGTT is a powerful force in Tunisia, with around 600,000 members it can call on to strike.
 
Opposition leaders have been trying to court the group to support its calls to oust the government and dissolve the transitional Constituent Assembly, tasked with creating a draft constitution.
 
Ennahda, which was democratically elected, has remained defiant despite increasingly violent and widespread protests. On Monday, one of its junior coalition partners, the secular Ettakatol, threatened to resign if a new unity government was not formed.
 
The opposition, angered by two assassinations in its ranks and emboldened by the Egyptian army's ouster of Mohamed Morsi, has taken a hard stance in recent days. It is refusing several concessions and power sharing proposals offered by Ennahda's governing coalition.
 
The UGTT said that while it supported the call for a new government it would not back dissolving the Constituent Assembly, which is only weeks away from completing a draft constitution to put to popular referendum.
 
Opposition critics have argued that dissolving the Assembly and its draft constitution would risk even more long term political instability.
 
"We propose maintaining the Constituent Assembly but ... with a time frame to speed up completion of its work," Abbassi said. "We will be proposing this to all political parties because there is a need to clear the political bottleneck in this country."

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid