Tunis: Tunisia’s judiciary has rejected a list of candidates chosen to form a body tasked with organising elections, a court said on Monday, in the latest setback for the country’s political roadmap.

The administrative court’s decision follows last week’s failure by the ruling Islamists and opposition to agree on an independent caretaker prime minister as part of a process to end months of deadlock and prepare for new elections.

“The court decided to cancel the work of the organ in charge of reviewing candidates” for the Higher Independent Elections Commission (ISIE), court spokesman Habib Latrech told Shems-FM radio station.

He said 36 candidates chosen by the parliamentary commission did not meet the legal criteria.

The court has taken similar steps in recent weeks, cancelling parliament’s work on the same electoral body in September, and blocking the appointment of ISIE members this month, accusing lawmakers of not respecting certain procedures.

“The commission is not functioning properly, the court is applying the law,” Latrech insisted.

Tunisia was plunged into political crisis in July with the killing of opposition leader Mohammad Brahmi by suspected jihadists, triggering calls for the resignation of the government led by the Islamist party Al Nahda.

Under an ambitious roadmap agreed to last month by Al Nahda and the opposition, the two sides pledged to negotiate an interim government of independents, draft a much-delayed constitution and prepare for elections.

But the negotiations quickly unravelled when the two sides failed to agree on a new prime minister, and talks were suspended a week ago.

Almost three years after the uprising that toppled ex-dictator Zine Al Abidine Bin Ali, Tunisia’s national assembly is paralysed by factionalism, while the country remains without a new constitution, functioning state institutions or the commission to oversee the elections.