International

Tunisian Prime Minister Steps Down Amid Crisis

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.

hide captionTunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali.

Fethi Belaid /AFP/Getty Images

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced his resignation during a news conference today, the BBC reports.

Jebali resigned after days of protests erupted in the country. As we've reported, thousands of Tunisians took the streets to protest the assassination of Jebali's opponent.

Chokri Belaid, the country's secular opponent, was shot in the head and killed earlier this month. Jebali, who denounced the killing, responded by disbanding his government and offering a technocrat government.

The AP reports that government was rejected and Jebali offered his resignation.

Reuters reports:

"'I vowed that if my initiative did not succeed, I would resign and ... I have already done so," Jebali told a news conference after meeting with President Moncef Marzouki.

"Jebali had proposed forming a cabinet of apolitical technocrats to end protests and political turmoil caused by the the assassination of secular opposition politician Chokri Belaid."

Tunisia is regarded as the birthplace of the Arab Spring. Jebali became prime minister in 2011, after Ennahda, a moderate Islamist party, won the first democratic elections to come from the Arab Spring.

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