A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Jebali Resigns

After failing to persuade the major political players (including his own al-Nahda Party) to support his proposal for a technocratic Cabinet, Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali has resigned. He says he has no intention of seeking another position. He had promised to resign if he failed.

Now what? The Prime Minister's resignation now forces the issue of creating a new coalition, something that has also eluded the parties.


David Mack said...

Tunisia's crushing economic problems make me pessimistic about the future of any Tunisian government, but the Jebali government had the political virtue of trying to govern as a coalition which included centrist secular personalities. This is a setback, with An Nahda leaders like Rachid Ghannouchi seeming to cater to demands of right wing Salafis who reject the idea of democratic governance. Nor do I think that far left agitators have helped. Wall Street Journal is out with a fairly detailed report by Charles Stevenson in Tunis reporting that Jebali be asked to form a government with at least some technocrats to prepare for elections. He reasons that key parties have vented their emotions but may pull back from the prospect of chaos.

David Mack said...

On Tuesday, Standard and Poor's downgraded Tunisia's credit rating, citing "a risk that the political situation could deteriorate further amid a worsening fiscal, external and economic outlook."

Arab proverb: Ras al mal jabban; yahrub illa aman.