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Fri Feb 22, 2013, 07:39 PM


Tunisia Islamist Party Chooses New Prime Minister

Source: AP

Tunisia's ruling Islamist party named an interior minister seen as a conservative loyalist to form a new government Friday, in a signal the party is unlikely to back down to opposition demands to try to smooth over the country's political crisis.

Ali Larayedh, accused of failing to stem violence by ultraconservative Muslims when he was in charge of Tunisia's security as interior minister, said he would start immediate consultations on forming a new government, according to the state news agency TAP.

He said after his first Cabinet meeting that the new government should represent different layers of society, including the secular media and arts worlds and preachers, TAP reported. He has 15 days to present a new government.

The killing of an opposition leader last month plunged Tunisia into its deepest political crisis since it started the Arab Spring uprisings two years ago. It led to violent protests against the Islamist-led government and demands for a crackdown on extremist violence.

Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/tunisia-islamist-party-chooses-prime-minister-18564551

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