Asharq Al-awsat English Middle-east and International News and Opinion from Asharq Al-awsat Newspaper

Tunisia's Jemli Promises to Reform State Firms

Tunisia's Jemli Promises to Reform State Firms

Sunday, 17 November, 2019 - 18:15
Tunisian President Kais Saied shakes hands with Prime Minister designate Habib Jemli in Tunis, Tunisia, in this handout pictured obtained by Reuters on November 15, 2019. Tunisian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS

Tunisia's next government should focus on reforming the faltering economy and restoring hope among frustrated youth, Prime Minister designate Habib Jemli said on Sunday.

Jemli faces the challenge of creating a ruling coalition after Ennahda party, which took most seats in last month's parliamentary election, tapped him as prime minister on Friday.

"Tunisians were patient enough and the youth are frustrated. It is time they can see hope and light at the end of the tunnel,” he said.

Priorities will be to combat price inflation and to improve Tunisians' living conditions and public services.

Jemli will start on Monday consultations with political parties to discuss the government program and to choose ministers. He expects this to take weeks.

Any new government will need the support of at least two other parties to command even the minimum parliamentary majority of 109 seats needed to pass legislation.

If Jemli cannot form a government within two months, President Kais Saied can ask another to try. If that fails and the deadlock persists, there will be another election.

"Instead of political disputes over positions and chairs, emphasis should be placed on economic reforms including reforms of state firms facing major difficulties," the PM-designate said.

Editor Picks