Tunisia: New Government Takes Office

Carthage, — New Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa expressed hope to see his government win people's confidence after being endorsed by the National Constituent Assembly (NCA).

He welcomed the progress made in the other processes, particularly the electoral process with the creation of the Independent Higher Authority for the Elections (ISIE). The latter will be tasked with setting the date for elections and therefore the end of the term of this government by the end of 2014.

Speaking Wednesday at the office-taking ceremony in Dar Dhiafa, Carthage, Mehdi Jomaa said though his cabinet is aware of the difficulties and the major problems posed, it is nonetheless fully prepared to meet the challenges, armed with the support of all parties.

As much as we are attached to the electoral legitimacy and institutions issued from it, as we will work to strengthen it by a consensual legitimacy, he argued.

Mehdi Jomaa extended his thanks to outgoing Prime Minister Ali Larayedh and commended his great efforts during the difficult past period.

Earlier, outgoing Prime Minister Ali Larayedh called for joint efforts of all to support the action of the new team.

He highlighted the ability of Tunisians to overcome difficulties and preserve the national unity, while giving to the values of work and science the place they deserve.

Larayedh congratulated his successor Mehdi Jomaa and his team for the confidence given to them with a comfortable majority by members of the NCA.

He thanked the Caretaker President, the President of the NCA and all the outgoing government team, as well as the directors general and directors of central and regional structures with whom he worked.

Larayedh said it is not enough to judge his government in terms of achievements, calling for taking into account the dangers probably spared to the country."

"We have spared Tunisia dangers that countries which experienced similar situations were not able to avoid."

Larayedh also spoke of his own course, from the persecution suffered because of his affiliation to the Movement of Islamic Trend (Ennahdha now) until his experience at the head of the government.

The ceremony was attended by members of the outgoing government, members of the new government and several parties' leaders and presidents of national organisations including, organisations sponsor of the national dialogue.

Heads of national authorities, national personalities and military and security officials attended the ceremony which was marked by the absence of Popular Front leaders.

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