News / Middle East

Tunisia's Ruling Islamists, Opposition Suspend Talks

Rached Ghannouchi (C), leader of Ennahda Party, speaks to the media after a meeting, as part of a dialogue between ruling Islamists and the opposition, which aims to pave the way for the formation of a transitional government, in Tunis, Nov. 2, 2013.
Rached Ghannouchi (C), leader of Ennahda Party, speaks to the media after a meeting, as part of a dialogue between ruling Islamists and the opposition, which aims to pave the way for the formation of a transitional government, in Tunis, Nov. 2, 2013.
Reuters
Tunisia's ruling Islamists and opposition parties suspended talks on Monday over forming a new caretaker government to end the country's crisis after the two sides failed to agree on naming a prime minister.
 
It was not clear when negotiations would restart, but the suspension was a blow to hopes of a quick end to political deadlock in a country whose 2011 uprising inspired the “Arab Spring” revolts across the region.
 
Tunisia's Islamist-led government has already agreed to step down later this month to make way for a temporary administration that will govern until elections, but the two sides remain deeply split over details of their agreement.
 
“They were unable to reach a consensus over the prime minister. The dialogue has been suspended until there is solid ground for negotiations,” said Hussein Abassi, leader of the powerful UGTT union that brokered the talks.
 
He said the union may propose names for the premier if moderate ruling Islamist party Ennahda and the opposition were unable to reach agreement.
 
Since an uprising ousted autocratic leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali nearly three years ago, Tunisia has struggled with a widening division over the role of Islam in one of the most secular countries in the Muslim world.
 
But the assassination of two secular opposition leaders this year by Islamist militants sparked protests by opposition parties who demanded Ennahda resign in part because it was too soft on hardliner fundamentalists pushing for an Islamic state.
 
Recent militant clashes with police and a suicide bomber at a beach resort last week underscored the rise of hard-line Islamists in Tunisia.
 
Ennahda and the opposition must still negotiate over a date for new elections and the composition of an electoral board and finish work on the country's new constitution before Ennahda steps down later this month.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid