New Tunisian cabinet formed, with a token Ennahda minister

New Tunisian cabinet formed, with a token Ennahda minister
Prime Minister Habib Essid names a new government that includes one Ennahda minister, after an earlier cabinet with no members from the moderate Islamist party failed to get support from other parties.
2 min read
02 February, 2015
Prime Minister Habib Essid must wait until Wednesday for parliamentary approval for his cabinet (Anadolu)
The new Tunisian prime minister Habib Essid has named a cabinet dominated by the Nidaa Tounes party, which emerged as the biggest party in October's parliamentary elections.

The proposed coalition government includes members from Afek Tounes, as well as a minister and three state secrataries from the rival Ennahda party.

"We have made changes... to widen the composition of the government with the participation of other political parties," Essid said after the moderate Islamist Ennahda party had warned it would vote against a line-up that included none of its members.

An earlier cabinet had been rejected by Ennahda as it did not include any of its members.

The new cabinet will be put before a parliamentary vote of confidence on Wednesday and Ennahda, who hold 69 out of 217 seats in parliament, can work to ensure that it does not get approval should they oppose it.

"We have no more time to lose, we are in a race against the clock," Essid said as he announced the line-up at the presidency.

Essid's government will be the first since landmark parliamentary and presidential elections last year that were the first freely contested polls in the history of the North African country.

Tunisia has struggled to form a stable government since it became the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings by ousting longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

But despite some militant attacks, Tunisia has not suffered from the widespread unrest that has shaken other Arab Spring countries.