Tunis - The heads of 21 political parties were to gather
on Monday to try to agree on a new prime minister to be named this week to form a
cabinet of independents.
Following a months-long political crisis, the government led
by the moderate Islamist movement Ennahda is to be replaced under a series of
talks launched on Friday.
The meeting of party leaders was to start at 15:00 GMT,
according to the UGTT trade union which has been the main mediator of the
"national dialogue" between the government and opposition.
Under the timetable of the talks, the new prime minister - a
post for which no candidate has been declared - will have two weeks to form a
The elected Constituent National Assembly has until the end
of November to draw up a new constitution, an electoral law and to form a
commission to organise polls.
Incumbent Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has pledged to step
down as long as the timetable is respected.
The murder in July of an opposition leader, Mohammed Brahmi,
by suspected jihadists triggered mounting calls for the resignation of his
Since the 2011 uprising that ousted Zine El Abidine Ben
Ali's regime, the country has been rocked by violence blamed on jihadist groups
suppressed under the veteran strongman.