10 Feb 2013

Ultimatum issued by PM

11:24 am on 10 February 2013

Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali of Tunisia threatened on Saturday to resign if a proposal to dissolve the cabinet and replace it with a technocratic government is not accepted.

He first made the proposal on Wednesday after the assassination of Chokri Belaid, an opposition lawyer, triggered anti-government protests.

But the BBC reports his Ennahda party is opposed to the plan for a non-partisan cabinet. Ennahda said the prime minister "did not ask the opinion'' of the party.

"All the ministries will be independent, including the interior, justice and foreign affairs ministries," Mr Jebali was quoted as saying on Saturday.

Mr Belaid's funeral on Friday brought as many as a million mourners onto the streets of the capital.

Ennahda supporters also held a rally in Tunis on Saturday.