Tunisian president nominates new prime minister

Youssef Chahed, new prime minister

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi has officially named Local Affairs Minister Youssef Chahed as prime minister of the national unity government.

The forty-one-year-old Chahed, had served as a vice-minister of fishing before becoming minister of local affairs in the Essid government.

The nomination came after parliament ousted incumbent Habib Essid in a vote of no-confidence due to his perceived poor handling of economic reforms and security.

National Unity Government

According to the country’s constitution, a new prime minister has to be named within 10 days and a government seated a month after that.

Following his nomination, Chahed has 30 days to form a ministerial team which then needs to earn a vote of confidence from the majority of parliament members.

Reactions

A member of parliament for the Nidaa Tounes party, Ibtissem Jbebli, said the vote was a test for democracy.

Citing little progress on the economic front during Essid’s year-and-a-half in office, Jbebli said “the outlook was too grim to allow him to remain.”

All of Ennahda’s members of parliament voted to unseat Essid.

A total of 118 members of parliament voted to oust Essid, while three voted for him to remain and 27 abstained.

Pressure

Essid, had faced increasing pressure to step down in recent weeks, after President Essebsi appeared on national television in June to criticise Essid’s performance and propose a new government of national unity.

However, a political analyst Youssef Cherif said that Essid was not given enough time to make the changes needed for the country.

Xinhua/Ifeoma Owoh/Chiamaka.O.