Tunisia: Hichem Mechichi Is New Prime Minister

The legal expert who was designated on Saturday, July 25, 2020 has one month to form a government.

Tunisia's President Kais Saied has appointed Hichem Mechichi, as the country's new Prime Minister. The former Interior Minister, was selected to replace Elyes Fakhfakh who resigned over alleged conflict of interest after an independent member of the Tunisian parliament last month published documents indicating that he owned shares in companies that had won deals worth 15 million dollars from the state.

Mechichi, 46, an independent, was not nominated for the position by any party. He served as the president's legal adviser and also a member of the National Commission of Investigation on Corruption founded in 2011. Speaking to the media after his appointment, Mr Mechichi said, "I will work to establish a government which would meet the aspirations and demands of all Tunisian adding that his authority would also adequately respond to people's "legitimate demands". Though he is yet to secure a majority support for his government in the country's parliament and some political analysts are worried about his lack of experience in economics, at a time when the Tunisian economy is struggling, Press TV reports that, the new Prime Minister has one month to form a government capable of winning a confidence vote in parliament by a simple majority. If he fails, the President will dissolve the parliament and call for another election.

Tunisia is currently under political crisis and the resignation of FakhFakh has only intensified the tension. In the parliament which is scheduled to meet on July 28, parties are trying to oust the current speaker Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party. The country is also facing economic crisis, which has left many Tunisians frustrated with a decline in living standards and a decay in public services amid the coronavirus pandemic. Investment Minister Slim Azzabi said earlier this month that the Tunisian economy was expected to shrink by 6.5 per cent this year due to the pandemic .

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