Tunisia PM calls for new government of technocrats

BOUAZZA BEN BOUAZZA PAUL SCHEMM Associated Press Published:

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) -- Tunisia's prime minister has announced the formation of a new government of technocrats to guide the country to elections later this year.

Wednesday's announcement follows the assassination of a prominent leftist politician that sparked major protests.

Premier Hamadi Jebali said the technocratic government's sole task will be to organize the elections "as soon as possible."

The ruling moderate Islamist party has been engaged in stalled negotiations over expanding its coalition to include members of the opposition.

Many blame the ruling party for Wednesday's assassination of leftist leader Chokri Belaid -- allegations it denies.