Monday, December 16, 2013

Tunisian parties choose new prime minister

Mehdi Jomaa taking the oath of office as ministry of Industry.The picture was taken on March 13, 2013 when the then new government was sworn in. (Photo: AFP - Fethi Belaid).

Tunisia's political parties chose Industry Minister Mehdi Jomaa Saturday to head a government of independent figures aimed at pulling the country out of a months-long crisis, the principal mediator said.
"Dialogue and discussions led to a vote and the choice of Mehdi Jomaa as the candidate for the post of head of government," said Houcine Abassi, secretary general of the powerful UGTT trade union.
"Our people have waited for a long time, but despite the difficulties and obstacles... this dialogue has not failed," he said, adding his "congratulations to Tunisia."
Of the 21 parties participating in the talks, only the Nidaa Tounes party rejected the choice and abstained in the vote.
According to a deal clinched between Tunisia's main parties in October, the new premier has 15 days to form his new government of independents.
He also faces the weighty task of organizing elections in 2014.
Jomaa, a relative unknown, is a 51-year-old engineer with no stated political affiliation.

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