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Ennahda Party to step down after deal on election commission

Tunisia's Ennahda-led government is set to resign in the next few days to make way for an interim administration once government and opposition parties agree on the makeup of the election commission, mediators said on Tuesday. The Ennahda Party agreed last year to hand over power to a transitional government once a new constitution was complete, an election commission is formed and a date for elections is set. The country has been beset by a political crisis.


Three years following the uprising that ousted President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia stands on the threshold of its transition to full democracy following a deadlock between Islamist and secular parties.

The country's Constituent Assembly began voting last week on the final parts of the new constitution. On Tuesday, political parties began working out how to resolve disagreements over the composition of the electoral commission to oversee the elections to be held later this year.

The mediators, led by the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), said on Tuesday that Prime Minister Ali Larayadh has expressed his full readiness to step down as soon as an agreement on the nine members of the election commission is reached. Bou Mbarki, the Deputy Secretary-General of the UGTT, said that once the parties have reached an agreement, the transfer of power will be made. This is expected to be within the next two days.

The Tunisian parties have already named Mehdi Juma, an engineer and a former minister, to act as interim prime minister in a non- partisan government to govern until the elections are held.

The agreement between Ennahda and the secular opposition in Tunisia contrasts sharply with the instability affecting Libya, Egypt and Yemen, where leaders were also toppled in the 2011 Arab Spring.

SOURCE: Alamatonline

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