Tunisian PM urges national reconciliation

Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali, whose Islamist party has strained ties with journalists, called on Thursday for fence-mending across-the-board, especially with the media.

Relations are strained between state media and Ennahda, a moderate Islamist party that won elections in October after the ouster last year of long-serving dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

The state television network Wataniya is regularly accused of denigrating the work of the government and even of plotting to overthrow it. But many in the media suspect Ennahda of wanting to keep them in check.

"We appeal for a national reconciliation," especially with the media, Jebali told parliament, and mooted the creation of a "reflection group to which one could take recourse to in moments of crisis and which would unite and not divide."

Post-revolution Tunisia is deeply divided between the supporters of the ruling party, which heads a coalition government, and the opposition which is seeking to grab power in elections due next year.

-AFP/NOW Lebanon