Tunisia: Youssef Chahed, Future Prime Minister of Unity Government

Tunisia: Youssef Chahed, Future Prime Minister of Unity Government

youssef_chahedPresident Caid Essebsi will be appointing outgoing local affairs minister, Youssef Chahed, as the new prime minister, sources at the Tunisian presidential palace in Carthage said, adding that the official announcement of the appointment is expected to be made on Wednesday.

The president chaired a consultation meeting with stakeholders of the national unity government on Monday and that is where the choice is believed to have been made.

However, pessimism over the national unity government is beginning to rise among political figures as Hamma Hammami, Worker’s Party Secretary General and Spokesman for the Popular Front, said the national unity government “will fail” due to lack of new “alternatives” and “program” and it will be “obliged to suppress liberties to push through painful measures.”

If appointed as Prime Minister, Chahed will be tasked with the formation of a new cabinet that already has three national labor unions and nine political parties as stakeholders that participated in the presidential initiative, launched in June, to form a unity government.

Popular Front was one of the parties that withdrew from the process to form the unity government and Hammami alleged that the initiative, launched without being discussed with outgoing Prime Minister, will not save the country from the crisis it is facing. He explained that Tunisia is “living through a crisis of an overall power due to wrong choices” and efforts by the “ruling power” to treat it are “hasty.”

He said the core issues of the crisis are not being treated as he analyzed that there is “an attempt to blame outgoing premier Habib Essid for its causes.”

Four of the political parties that are part of Essid’s government took part in the formation of the national unity government process and were at Monday’s consultation meeting with Essebsi.

Hammami concluded that “saving Tunisia is possible and measures seem clear, simple and within reach, but the problem is of political nature.”

Tunisia received global acclamation for staging a public demonstration that led to end of Ben Ali’s regime with little violence but the return governments that have followed have been unstable and continue to struggle with economic, financial and security  concerns.

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