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Tunisia PM-designate presents unity govt line-up

21 August 2016, 08:49

Tunis - Tunisia's premier-designate Youssef Chahed on Saturday submitted his proposed new unity government list to President Beji Caid Essebsi, the presidency said.

The announcement on the presidency's Facebook page, gave no further details.

Media reports said Chahed, who was tasked on August 3 with forming a new government, would make an official announcement about the ministerial line-up later on Saturday.

The 40-year-old former local affairs minister had been given 30 days to form a cabinet.

If his cabinet wins the backing of parliament, Chahed will become the North African country's youngest premier since independence from France in 1956.

He will also be Tunisia's seventh prime minister since a 2011 uprising that toppled longtime dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Chahed is a member of the Nidaa Tounes party, which was founded by Essebsi.

His nomination early this month came after a government led by Habib Essid lost a vote of confidence after just 18 months in office.

Essid's cabinet, which included Nidaa Tounes, the moderate Islamist movement Ennahda and two other groups, came in for heavy criticism for failing to tackle a jihadist insurgency and over Tunisia's economic crisis.

In June, Essebsi said he would support the formation of a new unity government.

Many Tunisians welcomed the nomination of a comparatively young premier - especially compared with other leaders since 2011.

Essebsi is 89 years old, and Essid is 67.

If his cabinet receives parliamentary approval, Chahed's main task will be to remedy the economic and social crises that still grip Tunisia five years after its revolution.

He has also pledged to combat terrorism and corruption.



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