Middle East

Tunisia’s new government assumes ruling mandate

Yusuf al-Shahid government officially assumes ruling mandate from outgoing government of ex-PM Habib Essid

29.08.2016 - Update : 29.08.2016
Tunisia’s new government assumes ruling mandate

By Rashid al-Jaray


Newly-appointed Prime Minister Yusuf al-Shahid’s government Monday officially assumed its ruling mandate from the outgoing government of former PM Habib Essid at a handover ceremony held in the city of Carthage.

In a speech delivered at the ceremony, Essid warned of the repercussions of the rapid succession of new Tunisian governments since 2011, saying: "I hope this government will remain in place until the next election [in 2019]."

"We can no longer afford a rapid succession of governments; the worst thing for this country is to see a change of government every year or year and a half," he asserted.

The al-Shahid government is the eighth to assume power in Tunisia since the country was rocked by a popular uprising in late 2010/early 2011.

Essid also called on the new government to pursue the fight against corruption, going on to urge "all parties to spare no effort in their support for the new government".

He also voiced satisfaction regarding Tunisia’s "democratic process and peaceful rotation of power", but added: "Democracy was one of the demands of the [2011] revolution, but the revolution will not have succeeded until the economy is revived and social conditions improved."

After winning the confidence of Tunisian MPs by a comfortable majority, the al-Shahid government was formally sworn in on Saturday at a state ceremony attended by Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.

At 41 years old, al-Shahid is the country’s youngest-ever prime minister.

A leader of the Nidaa Tounes party, al-Shahid served as local affairs minister in the Essid government. He holds graduate degrees in agricultural science and environmental economy and natural resources.

The new government consists of 26 ministers and 14 state secretaries (civil servants who hold ministerial rank).

The leaders of three key ministries -- interior, defense and foreign affairs -- remain from the previous government.

The new government includes members from Nidaa Tounes, the Ennahda movement, the Afaq Tunis party, the Republican Party, the Mubadara Party, the People's Movement and the Social Democratic Path party, along with several independent figures.

It enjoys the support of the country’s most influential organizations, including the Tunisian General Labor Union; the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts; and the Tunisian Union of Agriculture and Fisheries.

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