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Tunisia government refuses to step down, announces to hold general election by December

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TUNIS: Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has said that the government will not step down despite opposition’s demands, and will hold elections by the end of the year.

“This government will stay in office: we are not clinging to power, but we have a duty and a responsibility that we will exercise to the end,” Larayedh, leader of the Ennahda Party, said in a press conference on Monday.

Larayedh also proposed December 17 as the date for the general elections.

“We think that the National Constituent Assembly will complete the electoral code by October 23 at the latest so elections can be held on December 17,” the prime minister said.

The date is significant because it was on this day in 2010 that vegetable vendor Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in an act of protest, triggering demonstrations in 2011 that toppled Tunisia’s autocratic ruler Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

“The government is not incapable of calling for popular support to discover whether the people are with this government or with those who want to take it backwards towards the unknown,” Larayedh said.

Larayedh made the comments after an emergency meeting of the cabinet ministers earlier in the day.

Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human 🙂 Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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