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Tunisia appoints interior minister as the new PM

July 26, 2020

Hichem Mechichi is set to take over as Tunisia's prime minister, following the resignation of Elyes Fakhfakh after only five months in office. Some experts are worried about Mechichi's limited economic experience.

Tunisia's new prime minister designate, Hichem Mechichi, takes oath of office
Image: picture-alliance/AP/F. Belaid

Tunisia's President Kais Saied appointed the Interior Minister, Hichem Mechichi, as the new Prime Minister for the North African country. 

Mechichi will succeed Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned last week over allegations of conflict of interest

"I will work to form a government that meets the aspirations of all Tunisians and to respond to their legitimate demands," Mechichi said. He has yet to secure majority support for his government in the country's parliament.

Political turmoil 

Fakhfakh's coalition government was elected last year, with his resignation coming after only five months in power. The political row in parliament has deepened with lawmakers demanding the resignation of Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the Islamist Ennahda party. 

Tunisia: Where water is a precious resource

Mechichi, 47, has served as president's adviser and member of the National Commission of Investigation on Corruption founded in 2011. However, political analysts are worried about his lack of experience in economics, at a time when the Tunisian economy is struggling.

The coronavirus pandemic has heavily impacted Tunisia's economy, especially the crucial tourism industry. Tunisia expects the economy to shrink by 6.5% this year. Many Tunisians are struggling with economic stagnation and a drop in standard of living.

The country recently reopened borders for travel, albeit with restrictions in place. Tunisia has seen 1443 cases of the virus, with 50 deaths. 

tg/dj  (AFP, Reuters)