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Tunisia's Islamist prime minister resigns

By The Associated Press

This article was published January 9, 2014 at 9:25 a.m.

TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia's Islamist prime minister has announced his resignation in favor of a caretaker government that will supervise new elections.

Ali Larayedh of the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party had agreed to step down after lengthy negotiations with the opposition after a political crisis brought about by the assassination of a left-wing politician in July.

The resignation of the Ennahda-led government in favor of a cabinet of technocrats has been seen as an implicit admission of the Islamists' failure to manage the transition after the 2011 overthrow of Tunisia's dictator.

Tunisia's assembly is in the process of approving a new constitution, and elections for a new government will be held this year.

"I hope the country will be a model for democratic transition," Larayedh said Thursday after presenting his resignation at the presidential palace.

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