The Head of Government Designate has announced the new multi-party cabinet that it is hoped will guide the country through the current period of crisis.
The newly appointed Head of Government, Youssef Chahed presented his list of 26 Ministers and 14 State Secretaries to the President on Saturday, ahead of a formal vote of confidence in the Assembly of the Representatives of the People, (ARP) scheduled for this Friday.
Seventeen Ministers from the former Nidaa Tounes led coalition retain their positions. Minister of Foreign Affairs, Khemaies Jhinaoui; the Minister of Tourism, Salma Elloumi Rkik; the Minister of Defence Farhat Horchani; the Minister of Transport Anis Ghdira; the Minister of Education Neji Jalloul and the Minister of Equipment, Mohamed Salah Arfaoui all remain in post.
Samira Merai, who was previously the Minister of Women, Family and Children is now moved to Health and Zied Laâdheri, the former Minister of Employment, is now Minister of Trade and Industry
Returning to the front ranks of government is Ghazi Jerbibi, the former Minister of National Defence in the Jomaa Government who joins the new Unity Government in the Department of Justice. Riadh Mouakher, from Afek Tounes, also joins the Government as Minister of Local Affairs. Lamia Zribi, former State Secretary of the Minister of Development in Essid’s Government is the new Minister of Finance. Hela Cheikhrouhou, Executive Director of the Green Climate Fund, is now the Minister of Energy. Neziha Abidi is the new Minister of Women, Family and Children, and Majdouline Cherni, Head of the General Authority of the Martyrs and Wounded of the Revolution and Terrorist Attacks, is now Minister of Youth and Sports.
President of the significantly reduced Nidaa Tounes parliamentary bloc, Sofien Toubel told MosaiqueFM that, though the restructuring had added to the internal strains within the party, no further resignations had been indicated. According to the same radio station, Chahed will organise several meetings today with representatives of Afek Tounes and a Delegation of the Parliamentary bloc of Nidaa Tounes who have complained about the new appointments.
Speaking to Tunisia Live, Political Analyst Sleh Eddine Jourchi said that Youssef Chahed had “tried to fulfill all the criteria of the new Unity Government.” However, practical politics were slowing the application of theoretical conditions. “Many members of Chahed’s political Party (Nidaa Tounes) have protested, (over the makeup of the new government) and refused appointments” leaving Chahed with the unenviable task of persuading his own Deputies that the new government will strengthen, rather than weaken their party.
Jourchi also speculated over potential tensions within the new government as left wing members, such as Samir Taieb and Abid El Briki clash with center right such as those from Ennahda.
Zaineb is a journalist in the Tunisia Live newsroom. She speaks Arabic, French and English.