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Marzouki postpones withdrawal from Tunisian coalition

Tunisia's interim President, Moncef Marzouki, has postponed his party's withdrawal from the country's coalition government. The Congress for the Republic Party (CPR), which he heads, has expressed its opposition to the formation of a technocrat government.

In a report on Al Jazeera TV, CPR Secretary General Mohammed Abbou said, "We have decided to postpone the withdrawal of our ministers from the government, but if we don't see any change in a week, we will withdraw from the government on a permanent basis."

He said that the key point is an agreement on the government's programme and a cabinet reshuffle that would include, in particular, the Ministries of Justice and Foreign Affairs. He played down the suggestion that a technocrat government as proposed by Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali would be a "panacea" for Tunisia. "We oppose a government of technocrats because it would lead to the return of figures from the former regime," he explained.

The CPR, said Abbou, is concerned about the deteriorating economic situation in Tunisia. "Living conditions were supposed to improve, even in this transitional phase, but there is a certain mindset which has led to the opposite. We want to bring forward the election and move out of the transitional phase as soon as possible."

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