Tunisia: Heart of Tunisia Party, Acting Tourism Minister out of PM’s Cabinet

The second party in the Tunisian parliament, Heart of Tunisia, will not be part of Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh’s expected cabinet despite lobbies by various other parties including Ennahdah movement.

Nominal Prime Minister Fakhfah is expected per the constitution to provide President Kais Saied the list of his cabinet, on Friday. Fathi Ayadi, a prominent member in the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, said he has indications that the party of former presidential candidate Nabil Karoui will not be part of the expected government, Tunisie Numerique reports.

Ennahdha pressured Fakhfah to include Heart of Tunisia in his consultations but the former Finance Minister refused to change his mind.

Prime Minister-designate accuses Heart of Tunisia of corruption, in connection with Karoui’s detention on corruption and money-laundering charges last year.

Fakhafah, who appears to be willing to impose himself, has also sidelined acting tourism and transport minister Rene Trabelsi, reckoned for reviving Tunisia’s flattened tourism sector. He is likely to be replace by Mohamed Ali Toumi, member of Tunisia Alternative, an opposition force in the legislature.

Analysts say Trabelsi’s departure will deal a blow to the tourism industry, which has been rated third in Africa by the World Tourism Organization, UNWTO, in 2019.

The industry nearly collapsed in the wake of a series of terrorist attacks in 2015, which scared foreign holidaymakers. Over 70 people, mostly foreign nationals, were killed in the three attacks that occurred in capital Tunis and Sousse.

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