Maghreb

The parliament of Tunisia affirms technocratic government of PM-designate Mechichi


The parliament of Tunisia voted to confirm on Tuesday the technocratic government of PM-designate Hichem Mechichi by a majority vote of 134, while the choice of the Tunisian President Kais Saied for prime minister faced a confidence vote that could have imposed new elections if the MPs didn’t vote to him.

It should be noted that Saied has nominated Mechichi the former interior minister as the Premier Minister who has promised to revitalize the tourism-reliant economy that has been suffered from the coronavirus pandemic. He was designated in July to direct the third designated government in the small country in the North African in less than a year, substituting Elyes Fakhfakh, who left about allegations of the dispute of interest.

Actually, his chances increase before hours of the important vote while the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party, which is the highest bloc in parliament said it would grudgingly back him despite reservations.

In the same context, political scientist, Chokri Bahria, from the think tank Jossour reported that it seems clear that the government vote will pass, with a support base that should allow it a few months of stability.

Indeed, Tunisia has been praised because of its rare success story for the Arab Spring uprisings that happened in the region in 2011, causing the down of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. However, the country is now plunged in social and economic crisis, with the official lay-off rate at 18 percent, and in need of new aid from the International Monetary Fund.

In fact, Parliament is intensely divided and several lawmakers, even in the camp of the president, are angry as Mechichi neglected the major political factions in forming his government. Mechichi, a lawyer by training, has designated judges, academics, public servants, and business executives for what the local media has called the president’s government.

Otherwise, Ennahdha and others have required a political government that reflects the balance of parties and factions in parliament. Moreover, if Mechichi doesn’t succeed to win the minimum 109 out of 217 votes, Saied could dissolve the assembly and demand new elections for early next year. The chairman of Ennahdha’s advisory board, Abdelkarim Harouni, reported that the party would support Mechichi given the difficult situation of the country but would then seeks to develop and reform this government.

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