Tunisia’s new president on Wednesday asked for a six-month political truce and a moratorium on strikes and protests, warning that otherwise the country would be committing “collective suicide.”
Tunisia electrified the Arab world when it overthrew its autocratic leader in January, but since then the caretaker authorities have been buffeted by social unrest, political turmoil and rows over the role of Islam in the political system.
“I appeal to all the Tunisian people to give us a political and social truce, just for six months,” Moncef Marzouki, a former political prisoner installed as president this week, said in a interview on state television.
“A political truce including all the political parties … (and) a social truce by immediately stopping all sit-ins and strikes,” said Marzouki. “If we continue like this, it will be a collective suicide.”
“If things aren’t working out within six months, I will submit my resignation,” said Marzouki.
In Tunisia’s first ever democratic election, in October, voters handed victory to the moderate Islamist Ennahda party. Its nominee, Hamadi Jbeli, will be prime minister, the most powerful post.
Other top positions will be shared out among Ennahda’s two junior coalition partners, Marzouki’s Congress for the Republic and the left-wing Ettakatol party.
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