Tunisia’s prime minister-designate would form a purely technocratic government

The prime minister-designate of Tunisia reported on Monday that he would form a purely technocratic government after the conflict between the political parties about the formation of the next administration of the country.

The decision announced by Hichem Mechichi will probably put him in confrontation with the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party, which is the largest political group in parliament, and that announced it would oppose the formation of a non-political government.

Nevertheless, the proposition of a government of independent technocrats without political parties will acquire support from the powerful UGTT trade union and certain other parties, such as Tahya Tounes and Dustoury el Hor.

Mechichi reported that the focus of the government would fundamentally be on social hardship and the weak economy, explaining that: while the political dispute continues, some Tunisians have not found drinking water.

This year, protests have exploded inside the country because of the spread of unemployment, lack of development, and poor public services in health, electricity, and water. Mechichi, who was proposed by President Kais Saied last month to succeed Elyes Fakhfakh, reported that his priority would also be to save the struggling public finances. Moreover, Fakhfakh announced his resignation because of allegations of a conflict of interest.

Tunisia is act to revive its struggling economy since a 2011 revolution that was the cause of the end of the rule of former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and incited the Arab Spring. Otherwise, the government reported last month that it asked four creditor countries to delay debt repayments, while it announced more pessimistic economic and budget forecasts for 2020 as the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

The request on debt repayments confirms the terrible condition of the public finances, which was already a source of worry before that the coronavirus crisis hits the global economy. Therefore, Mechichi, 46, an independent, needs this month to form a government capable of winning a confidence vote in parliament by a simple majority, or the president will dissolve parliament and call for another election.

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