News24

Tunisian PM to unveil first cabinet

2011-12-18 20:34

Tunis - Tunisian Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali said he will submit the lineup of his new cabinet on Monday, the first freely elected government since the north African country's popular uprising.

"The final makeup of the government will be presented on Monday afternoon to President Moncef Marzouki before being submitted for approval by the constituent assembly on Wednesday or Thursday," Jebali said, quoted by the official TAP news agency.

Jebali is number two of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, which won elections for the new constituent assembly in October, the first since the Arab Spring revolution that toppled veteran president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali in January.

Tunisia is in the midst of a major social and economic crisis and observers say it is vital to get a new government up and running as soon as possible to start tackling the problems.

Jebali, who was designated premier last week and pledged to form a government as soon as possible, said the 48-member cabinet will include 26 ministers, six junior ministers under the prime minister and six secretaries of state.

The three main parties in the constituent assembly, Ennadha and its allies on the left - Marzouki's Congress for the Republic (CPR) and Ettakatol - have been negotiating for two weeks on the makeup of the cabinet.