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Tunisian PM Proposes Election Date, Rejects Call To Dissolve Government

Mourners carry the coffin of slain opposition leader Muhammad Brahmi during his funeral procession in Tunis on July 27.
Tunisian Prime Minister Ali Larayedh says his government will not resign despite opposition demands, and would continue to work until it term finishes in December.

On July 29, Larayedh called general elections for December 17.

Thousands of people gathered outside parliament earlier on the same day, demanding that the government to step down, and dissolve the legislature.

Protests were triggered the assassination on July 25 of leftist lawmaker Mohammed Brahimi, the second secular opposition leader to be assassinated this year.

Critics say the government of the ruling moderate Islamist Ennahda party has failed to control extremists.

Tunisia is the cradle of the Arab Spring revolutions.

Protests in Tunisia, which erupted in December 2010 after a street vendor set himself on fire in protest at police abuse, eventually led to the toppling of longtime strongman Zine el Abidine Ben Ali before spreading across the region.

Based on reporting by AFP, AP, Reuters