Tunisia Prime Minister Resigns Amid Crisis

This does not mean the 'failure of the revolution,' he says

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 19, 2013 1:37 PM CST

(Newser) – Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali announced his resignation today, making good on his promise to step down if he failed to resolve the country's political crisis. "I promised and assured that, in the event that my initiative failed, I would resign as head of the government, and that is what I have done," Jebali said on state-run TV today after meeting with President Moncef Marzouki, the Daily Star reports.

The move follows Standard & Poor's announcement that it would downgrade the country's credit rating because of constant instability, the AP reports. The country, which kicked off the Arab Spring, has been in turmoil ever since the assassination two weeks ago of opposition leader Chokri Belaid. Jebali had been trying to form a new, non-partisan coalition of technocrats, but those efforts collapsed last night, when his Islamist Ennahda party failed to sign on, the BBC explains. But Jebali insisted that the failure "does not mean the failure of Tunisia or the failure of the revolution."

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, followed by a body guard, arrives for a meeting with representatives of all Tunisian political parties in Carthage, Feb. 18, 2013.
Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, followed by a body guard, arrives for a meeting with representatives of all Tunisian political parties in Carthage, Feb. 18, 2013.   (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
Supporters of the Islamist ruling party Ennahda hold Tunisian and party flags during a rally in Tunis, Tunisia, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.
Supporters of the Islamist ruling party Ennahda hold Tunisian and party flags during a rally in Tunis, Tunisia, Saturday, Feb. 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Amine Landouls)
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