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

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said To Be Improving

Experimental drugs have been tried on six people: three Westerners and now, three African pyhysicians More

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities residents rebuild their lives, but many say everyone is being treated with suspicion More

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

Girls learn to object; FGM practitioners face penalties from jail sentences to stiff fines More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improvingi
X
Carol Pearson
August 19, 2014 11:43 PM
The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.
Video

Video For Obama, Racial Violence is Personal Issue

The racial violence in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson is presenting U.S. President Barack Obama with an issue to which he has a deep personal connection. To many Americans, Obama's election as America's first black president marked a turning point in race relations in the United States, and Obama has made ending the violence a policy priority. On Monday he issued a new call for calm and understanding. Luis Ramirez reports from the White House.
Video

Video Clinton-Obama Relationship Could Impact 2016 Election

President Barack Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton have a long and complicated relationship. That relationship took another turn recently when Clinton criticized the president’s foreign policy. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone reports there is renewed attention on the Clinton-Obama relationship as Hillary Clinton considers running for
Video

Video Iran Looks to Maintain Influence in Baghdad With New Shia PM

Washington and Tehran share the goal of stopping Syrian-based militants in Iraq. But experts say it's Iran, not the United States, that will most influence how the new government in Baghdad approaches internal reforms and the war in Syria. VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns has the story.

AppleAndroid