Tunisia opposition party rules out return to govt

Tunisian opposition party leader Mustafa Ben Jaafar will not reverse his decision to resign from the coalition government, a party official said on Wednesday.

“We have pulled out of the government officially,” the party aide, Hedi Radaoui, told Reuters.

Ben Jaafar, head of the small Democratic Forum for Freedom and Labour, was named health minister in the coalition government created after long-time leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was forced from office by a wave of protests.

He resigned his post on Tuesday, saying he objected to the presence in the government of ministers who had been part of Ben Ali's administration. At the time, he said negotiations were still going on and left open the possibility of re-joining the cabinet.