İrem UZUN -TDO- Tunisia’s designated Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh on Wednesday named a new coalition government after reaching an agreement with Ennahda moderate Islamist Party, the biggest power in Parliament, ending an ongoing political crisis of four months. With this agreement, the proposed government will likely win a confidence vote in Parliament in coming days and the country will avoid an early election.
Elyes Fakhfakh’s picks include former Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC) France associate Nizar Yaiche as finance minister and Noureddine Erray, currently ambassador to Oman, in charge of foreign affairs. Lawmakers are expected to vote on the cabinet on Feb. 26, local broadcaster Mosaique FM reported Thursday. Qalb Tounes, the party of controversial media tycoon Nabil Karoui, and the Free Destourian Party, led by anti-Islamist lawyer Abir Moussi, were left out of Fakhfakh's planned government, after the prime minister-designate vowed to only draw support from parties he considered were aligned with the goals of the 2011 revolution.
Since the 2011 revolution, unemployment has been high and growth low, while the government has sunk further into debt with a series of big budget deficits that foreign lenders demand it bring under control. Nine years on from its Arab Spring uprising, Tunisia is still struggling to convert its democratic progress into economic gains. In last year’s election, mainstream candidates took a drubbing amid popular outrage over the failure to move the country forward after the ouster of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.