Tunisia: Prime Minister-designate opts for independents-dominated cabinet

Tunisia’s Prime Minister-designate said he will form a cabinet of national technocrats and competences, independent from all political parties, after he failed to reach a deal with the political movements.

At a press conference in Djerba Monday evening, Habib Jemli indicated that the country can no longer wait for the formation of a new cabinet following the legislative and presidential elections.

He stressed that the government members will be chosen according to the criteria of competence, integrity, clean hands and independence.

“Tunisia can no longer bear more economic and social strife,” he said.

Jemli, nominated to the position last month, is from the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which won the legislative elections. He failed to secure a majority to form a cabinet single handedly.

Jemli justified his decision by the inflexibility of some political parties during the negotiations, despite the major concessions he made.

He told the media that various political groups in the Parliament and other movements have imposed extreme conditions for their participation in the government.

The Tunisian official also stressed that the parties demanded to be given key portefolios, though he promised to give away 15 cabinet seats, Tunisie Numerique reports.

Jemli said he was expecting to reach an agreement on Sunday but was confronted with the vetoes of three major parties despite prior agreements in principle.

No member of his cabinet will be from a political party, the Ennahda member said, indicating that he will consider enlisting members of the previous regime if they are not subject to any legal charges.

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