Tunisia PM to Reshuffle Cabinet Saturday

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Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali is due to announce on Saturday the results of lengthy consultations on a reshuffle of Tunisia's cabinet, a government statement said.

Jebali, of the ruling Islamist party Ennahda, "will make a statement to reporters on the result of consultations with the political parties on a government reshuffle, at 1:00 pm (1400 GMT) on Saturday," the statement said.

Ennahda first said that a reshuffle was "imminent" last July to enlarge the current coalition that also includes two secular center-left parties, Ettakatol and President Moncef Marzouki's Congress for the Republic.

The talks have constantly foundered on the refusal of the Islamists to give up key ministries including foreign affairs and the interior.

Political disagreement has also been rife over the content of the constitution and the political system in Tunisia, which sparked the Arab Spring when it ousted veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in early 2011.

Social unrest has injected urgency into the reshuffle negotiations.

The North African nation has been rocked by discontent that exploded into violence earlier this month in the southern town of Ben Guerdane and at Siliana in the northwest last month, injuring 300 people.

Ennahda is refusing to move Ali Larayedh as interior minister. He has come under fire for his handling of the unrest and attacks by extremist Salafist Muslims.

Foreign Minister Rafik Abdessalem has also been linked to a corruption scandal.

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