Islamist leader sees new Tunisian coalition government this week

Reuters News

2/20/2013 8:18:03 AM - Reuters News

TUNIS (Reuters) - The head of Tunisia's main Islamist party said on Wednesday it had yet to agree on a nominee to replace outgoing Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, but that he expected a new coalition government to emerge this week.

"We need a coalition government with several political parties and technocrats," Ennahda party chief Rached Ghannouchi told reporters after talks with secular President Moncef Marzouki on Tunisia's political crisis.

Jebali, a senior official in Ennahda, resigned on Tuesday after failing to replace a government pulled apart by acrimony between his Islamist allies and their secular opponents.

"We must reach an agreement as soon as possible," Ghannouchi said. "I expect the new government will be announced this week."

Ghannouchi said Ennahda, the biggest party in the elected National Constituent Assembly, had not decided who to nominate to lead the next government, but did not elaborate.

"Tomorrow we will resolve the issue of our candidate for prime minister", said Ennahda official Abdellatif Mekki.

(Reporting By Tarek Amara; Editing by Alistair Lyon)