Motion to Impeach Tunisian PM as President Threatens to Resign
Around 100 members of Tunisians Constituent Assembly are calling for a no confidence vote for Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali over the extradition of former Libyan Prime Minister Baghdadi Mahmoudi. The assembly members claim that the Prime Minister’s decision to go ahead with the extradition violated Tunisian law, created a riff between the presidency and the prime ministry, and threatens the security of Tunisia. The members have already started gathering signatures for the vote, which requires one third of the 217 seat assembly.
This all comes as President Moncef Marzouki threatened to resign for what his office called “an illegitimate decision taken unilaterally’’ by the Prime Minister, adding that extradition falls into foreign policy, which is the prerogative of the presidency, and not in the judiciary, which is the purview of the prime minister. The Prime Minister’s office defended the move as the continuation of a decision already made months prior.
Additionally, a bomb was thrown today at the Tunisian consulate in Tripoli, in the latest violence in Libya against Tunisian diplomatic offices in the country. The bomb missed its target, however, and caused only some damages with no injuries. Authorities have no suspects but it is believed that Gaddafi loyalists upset by the extradition may be behind it.
Also, a Tunisian court has upheld a seven year prison sentence for Jabeur Mejria for posting cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed on Facebook. A second youth was also charged, but remains on the run. Critics of the ruling contend that Tunisia’s Islamist government is violating free speech, while others have said the case is evidence of the politicization of judiciary.