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Hichem Mechichi, Tunisia
Image: picture-alliance/AP/F. Belaid

Tunisia to get second new government in six months

August 25, 2020

PM designate Hichem Mechichi has announced his cabinet and pledged to focus on reviving a flagging economy. However, coalition party Ennahdha is unhappy at being sidelined during the formation of the new government.


Prime minister-designate Hichem Mechichi unveiled Tunisia's second government in six months on Tuesday. 

The new cabinet must now win a confidence vote from lawmakers, many of whom are enraged at how the cabinet was formed.

Read more: Bringing water to Tunisia's struggling farmers

Mechichi had previously said he would form an administration with independent technocrats in order to "present urgent solutions" for a country where an ailing economy has been damaged further by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the 46-year-old's decision to bypass talks with political factions had frustrated, among others, the Islamist party Ennahdha, which has been seeking a "political" government reflecting the various forces within parliament.


Ennahdha won the most seats in last year's election but fell far short of a majority and eventually agreed to form a coalition government.

The party is deeply unhappy at being sidelined in the latest process, yet it has also expressed a wish to avoid fresh elections, something that could be sparked if the newly created cabinet is not approved.

Mechichi told reporters he had chosen to form a government composed of "independent expertise," with only a few outgoing ministers included in the line-up.

The former interior minister was appointed head of government last month by Tunisian President Kais Saied after former Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh resigned over allegations of a conflict of interest. In being elevated to his new position, Mechichi became the third politician to hold the office of prime minister in less than a year.

Tunisia: Where water is a precious resource

jsi/dj (AFP, Reuters)

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