Tunisian PM condemns assassination of opposition leader

Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has condemned the assassination of opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi. He’s also deplored subsequent protests and calls for civil disobedience. Meanwhile, the General Union of Tunisian Labour is calling for a general strike across the country on Friday, in protest at “terrorism, violence and murders”.
Prime Minister of Tunisia Ali Larayedh speaks yesterday during a press conference at EU headquarters in Brussels. (Xinhua)
Prime Minister of Tunisia Ali Larayedh speaks yesterday during a press conference at EU headquarters in Brussels. (Xinhua)

Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has condemned the assassination of opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi. He’s also deplored subsequent protests and calls for civil disobedience. Meanwhile, the General Union of Tunisian Labour is calling for a general strike across the country on Friday, in protest at “terrorism, violence and murders”.

It’s the second such assassination this year. A leading critic of Tunisia’s ruling Islamists, opposition leader and leader of the People’s Party, Mohamed Brahmi, was shot dead outside his home.

The country’s Prime Minister Ali Larayedh strongly condemned the assassination. “I condemn in the strongest terms this odious crime which targets the whole of Tunisia and its security,” he said.

The murder by unknown gunmen sparked angry street protests in central Tunis and in the opposition leaders’s hometown of Sidi Bouzid, where he served as MP.

This is the second assassination that Tunisia has seen in the past six months. On February the 6th, the assassination of Chokri Belaid, another opposition figure, in front of his home also sparked a political crisis in Tunisia and charges of government involvement.

The latest assasination set off violent protests against the Islamist-led government. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters who stormed a local government office in Sfax.

The shooting also attracted international attention, with condemnation from the United States. It said there was “no justification for such outrageous and cowardly acts in a democratic Tunisia”.

President Francois Hollande of France urged “all political and social forces in Tunisia to demonstrate more than ever the spirit of responsibility needed to preserve national unity, and to guarantee the continuation of the democratic transition”.

Meanwhile, the UN high commissioner for human rights, Navi Pillay, called on Tunisian authorities to investigate the murder.

The family of father-of-five Brahmi said the ruling Islamist party Ennahda was behind both murders.

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