Tunisia buries murdered leader
After Belaid's assassination, prime minister Hamdi Jebali, an Islamist, said he would dissolve the government and form a cabinet of technocrats to rule until elections could be held.
But his own Ennahda party and its secular coalition partners complained they had not been consulted, casting doubt over the status of the government and compounding political uncertainty.
No one has claimed responsibility for the killing of Belaid, a lawyer and secular opposition figure.
His family have blamed Ennahda but the party has denied any hand in the shooting. Crowds have attacked several Ennahda party offices in Tunis and other cities in the past two days.
"Hope still exist in Tunisia," Fatma Saidan, a noted Tunisian actor, told Reuters at Belaid's funeral. "We will continue to struggle against extremism and political violence."
She called for national unity, saying: "We are ready to accept Islamists, but they don't accept us."
While Mr Belaid had only a modest political following, his criticism of Ennahda policies spoke for many Tunisians who fear religious radicals are bent on snuffing out freedoms won in the first of the revolts that rippled through the Arab world.
Secular groups have accused the Islamist-led government of a lax response to attacks by ultra-orthodox Salafi Islamists on cinemas, theatres and bars in recent months.
The economic effect of political uncertainty and street unrest could be serious in a country which has yet to draft a new constitution and which relies heavily on the tourist trade.
Mohamed Ali Toumi, president of the Tunisian Federation of Travel Agencies, described the week's events as a catastrophe that would have a negative impact on tourism, but he told the national news agency TAP no cancellations had been reported yet.
France, which had already announced the closure of its schools in Tunis today and tomorrow, urged its nationals to stay clear of potential flashpoints in the capital.
"Unless unavoidable, it is best to stay away from the city centre today, and steer clear of demonstrations and major road crossings or sensitive buildings," said Helene Conway-Mouret, minister in charge of French people living abroad.
The Austrian foreign ministry issued a similar warning.
The cost of insuring Tunisian government bonds against default rose to its highest level in more than four years yesterday and ratings agency Fitch said it could further downgrade Tunisia if political instability continues or worsens.