Tunis: Tunisia’s prime minister-designate announced a proposed new government that already faces opposition from the largest party, potentially extending months of political deadlock.
Elyes Fakhfakh’s nominees include Nizar Yaiche as finance minister, Imed Hazgui as defence minister and Noureddine Erray to head foreign affairs, he said on Saturday on local TV.
If lawmakers don’t approve the government in a vote, then the North African nation will face its second parliamentary election since October.
Already the biggest party, the moderate Islamist Al Nahda, signalled its dissent, saying a government that fully represents Tunisia’s broad political spectrum is needed.
This puts “the country in a difficult situation that requires careful consideration of the available constitutional, legal and political options,” Fakhfakh said in a speech, vowing to continue talks.
Nine years on from its Arab Spring uprising, Tunisia is still struggling to convert its democratic gains into economic ones.
In last year’s election, mainstream candidates took a drubbing as the public vented its anger against a squabbling elite it accused of failing to move the country forward after longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s ouster.
No bloc won enough seats in October’s vote to form a government, forcing Al Nahda to attempt to cobble together a coalition, only to see its designated prime minister, independent Habib Jemli, fail to win parliamentary approval. That obliged President Kais Saied, himself a political outsider, to appoint Fakhfakh to try again.