3 February 2013

Tunisia: CPR Gives One-Week Ultimatum Before Pulling Out Its Ministers From Government

Tunis — The extraordinary council of the Congress for the Republic Party (CPR), which met until late Saturday, has decided to give a one-week ultimatum "before pulling out its ministers from the current Government" if the document on the performance of the government agreed by the Troika is not signed, said CPR Secretary-General Mohamed Abbou.

"If this demand is not met, the decision will be implemented without any new recourse to the party's national council," he cautioned at a press conference held at the end of the extraordinary national council meeting.

A statement of the council said that document contains a set of points related, in particular, to the creation of a committee within the Prime Ministry made up of ruling coalition parties. This committee will be tasked with conducting consultations on major political and economic decisions before endorsing them such as appointment to senior positions.

The document also provides, in particular, for discussing "seriously and objectively" the issues of corruption, development of mechanisms of fight against corruption, preservation of the citizens' purchasing power, speeding up the pace of regional development and non-interference in justice.

It also states that bigwigs of the former regime be removed from decision-making positions, ministerial offices and a cabinet reshuffle be conducted in a timely manner and by introducing changes in ministries subject of negotiations, namely the foreign affairs and justice ministries.

"After reaching an agreement with Ennahdha Movement on a change in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs last week, by limiting negotiation to the Ministry of Justice, Ennahdha told us today that it sees no need to make changes in these two departments," indicated Mr. Abbou.

He reminded of his party's position calling for the "neutrality of the Ministry of Justice and the removal of Rafik Abdessalem from the Government."

"In case CPR pulls out from Troika, it will join the opposition and seek new political alliances," he said noting however, that "the CPR prefers not to pull out from the government coalition and has no relevant electoral interests."

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