16 December 2013

Tunisia: National Dialogue - Opposition Still in - President of Bar Association

Tunis — "The national dialogue will resume on Thursday as set out in the roadmap and the opposition will keep on participating in the national dialogue in spite of its reservations about Mehdi Jomâa who was consensually picked to head the next caretaker cabinet,"President of the National Bar Association and Spokesperson for the national dialogue Mohamed Fadhel Mahfoudh has announced.

The support of opposition parties hinges on provisions of the roadmap being put into effect, Mahfoudh told TAP news agency on Monday.

Political parties will meet on Wednesday, after hurdles to choosing a PM were cleared, to examine the electoral, constituent and governmental processes, he said.

"The new cabinet will be formed within two weeks, in conformity with the roadmap," Mahfoudh said. Concerned parties "will see to it that the deadline does not go beyond ten days," he added.

Mahfoudh also indicated that "several PM candidates can hold a cabinet position given their competence and neutrality."

It is up to the Prime Minister to form a cabinet and conduct talks with the concerned parties, he said.

The Quartet does not put forward names for cabinet positions but defines criteria, the spokesman of the national dialogue specified.

Once the cabinet is formed, the majority party in the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) will present the candidate and his cabinet to the Caretaker President. The latter will, in turn, submit the candidacy to the Assembly for the vote of confidence at a plenary session, he indicated.

All this is laid out in Article 15 of the law on the provisional organisation of public authorities.

Mehdi Jomâa, Industry Minister in Ali Laarayedh cabinet, was picked to lead following a vote at a plenary session of the national dialogue held on Saturday at the seat of the Human Rights and Transitional Justice Ministry.

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