Tunisia: Prime Minister-Designate to Form Mini Cabinet
Tunisian Prime Minister-designate Elyes Fakhfakh confirmed that he will form a mini-government, with no more than 25 ministers in line with the goals of the revolution.
In his first press conference, Fakhfakh announced that talks will kick off next week over the government program which will be based on the programs of the parties forming the coalition, including the Ennahda Movement, Democratic Current party, Tahya Tounes, and the People's Movement.
Fakhfakh denied excluding any political party, asserting that it is natural for the ruling coalition to be formed on a political basis, and political consensus can only be achieved with a government that takes full responsibility.
The PM told the parties that he needs the political support to implement the government program and not just win the confidence vote at the parliament.
Regarding the ongoing consultations to form the next cabinet, Fakhakh explained that he will exclude Heart of Tunisia party, chaired by Nabil Karoui, and Free Destourian Party, led by Abir Moussi, from his consultations.
He stressed he will only cooperate with the political parties that supported President Kais Saied during the second round of the presidential elections.
Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi called for a national reconciliation that includes constitutionalists, leftists, and Islamists, however, Fakhfakh objected over the concept that prevailed over the past years, which he believed distorted the political scene which is supposed to have parties in power, and others in the opposition.
The PM explained that he does not support excluding any party and that the parties that will not be interested in forming the new government will remain in the opposition and pursue their political work legally.
Ghannouchi, who also chairs Ennahda, stated that exclusion from consultations will only be of the parties that excluded themselves, referring to the Free Destourian Party.
Earlier, the head of the Free Destourian Party refused to meet President Saied, Ghannouchi, and former prime minister nominee Habib al-Jamali, saying they were allying with the Muslim Brotherhood and extremism.
Head of Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties, Khalil Zaouia, told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Heart of Tunisia and other parties are likely to participate in the new government through competent figures who have no partisan responsibilities.