The Tunisian Prime Minister has threatened to resign if he fails to form a new government within next few days sparking protests from ruling party supporters, capitalfm reports.
Hamadi Jebali has offered to form a new technocratic government in the wake of the assassination of the opposition leader Chokri Belaid.
It would be a key concession to the opposition who have been protesting against the Islamist government since the murder of Mr Belaid outside his home in broad daylight on Wednesday.
However, some in the ruling Ennahda party are fiercely opposed to the proposal and pro-government supporters who have rallied in the capital are protesting against his proposals.
Mr Jebali said: “I will present the team no later than the middle of next week.
“If it is accepted … I will continue to carry out my duties as head of the government. Otherwise, I will ask the president of the republic to find another candidate to form a new government.”
He said that key ministries held by fellow Islamists would be assigned to independents in his planned new government and said: “All the ministries will be independent, including the interior, justice and foreign affairs ministries.”
Several thousand supporters of the moderate Ennahda party rallied in the capital in support of the government and against the Prime Minister’s plan.
The supporters also hurled insults at France accusing the country’s former colonial ruler of interfering in North African politics after the French Interior minister branded the assassination of Mr Belaid as an attack on “the values of Tunisia’s Jasmine revolution”.
Demonstrators gathered in front of the National Theatre in Tunis, waving flags of the Ennahda party and shouting “Get out, France.”
Mr Valls had said on Europe 1 radio on Thursday that Mr Belaid was “one of the democrats and we must support these democrats so that the values of the Jasmine Revolution are not betrayed. There is an Islamic facism rising everywhere, but this obscurantism must, of course, be condemned because it denies the democracy for which the Libyan, Tunisian and Egyptian people have fought.”
Mr Valls was clearly pointing the finger at Salafists, with their strict interpretation of Islam, who have come to the fore, and smeared Ennahda’s moderate image.
At least one black Salafi flag was spotted in the sea of white Ennahda flags at the demonstration, which took place several hundred metres from the French Embassy.
The rally came the day after 50,000 gathered on Friday in the capital of Tunis for the funeral of Mr Belaid following days of increasingly violent protests in the country following his killing.
A general strike in protests was also called by the biggest labour union, which saw Tunis shutdown and flights in and out of the country halted.
It has been the worst violence since the overthrow of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011, which was the trigger for the Arab Spring.
Mr Jebali said he was confident he could get Ennahda’s support for his proposals for a new government, however it has exposed its own divisions between moderates and hardliners.
But the coalition’s failure to stem the country’s economic crisis and stop the often-violent rise of hardline Salafi Muslims have drawn fierce criticism, especially from staunch secularists such as Mr Belaid.
He had also accused Ennahda of backing some of the political violence through its own goon squads.