Tunisian PM-designate proposes new coalition cabinet
Tunisian prime minister-designate Habib - REUTERS

TUNIS: Tunisian prime minister-designate Habib Essid proposed a new coalition cabinet on Monday including secularists, Islamists and smaller parties, after politicians rejected a line-up announced last week as unrepresentative.

The new ministers included members of secularist party Nidaa Tounes and its main rival, the Islamist Ennahda, which did not have any posts in the earlier cabinet.

“I made some adjustments so we can gather all political forces and get to work immediately on the challenges we are facing,” Essid said.

Essid’s new government will have to push through tough economic reforms demanded by Tunisia’s international lenders and continue a campaign against Islamist militants.

Lawmakers will vote this week on whether to ratify the new government.

Nidaa Tounes member Slim Chaker was named as finance minister, and Taib Baccouche, also from Nidaa Tounes, will be foreign minister. Ennahda was given employment ministry and several other junior minister posts.

Four years after its uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia has been held up as an example of political compromise and democratic transition with a new constitution and free election

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