Tunisia's outgoing premier backs broad coalition

2014-11-29 13:01
(File: AFP)

(File: AFP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Dakar - Tunisia's next government should be a broad as possible coalition so that it has the necessary support to implement difficult economic reforms, the outgoing prime minister said on Friday in an implicit backing of an Islamist-secular alliance.

A secular nationalist party called Nida Tunis won the most seats in October's parliamentary election on an explicitly anti-Islamist platform.

While the moderate Islamist Ennahda Party came in second, many Nida Tunis officials have characterised any potential alliance as "unnatural."

Without the Islamists, who hold 69 seats to Nida Tunis' 86 seats in the 217 member assembly, the new government coalition would be fairly weak.

"Obviously to pass reforms, you need a large consensus," Mehdi Jomaa told the Associated Press while attending the 15th biannual summit of French speaking countries in Dakar, Senegal. "Considering the difficulties that we have, [the governing coalition] has to be the largest possible and what's more it has to be open to an opposition."

Tunisians overthrew their long-ruling dictator in 2011 in part because of high unemployment, a situation that has only become marginally better in the intervening years.

Jomaa's government of technocrats took over in January after an Islamist-led coalition stepped down amid a political crisis.

He put forward a strategy to reinvigorate the economy by cutting subsidies and government jobs and reforming outdated policies to lure in new investment.

A presidential runoff between Nida Tunis' leader, Beji Caid Essebsi and the current interim president, Islamist-backed Moncef Marzouki, is set for December.

Alone among the Arab Spring countries, Tunisia's democratic transition has remained on track, however it could still be derailed by social unrest stemming from high inflation and unemployment.

An estimated 3 000 of Tunisia's disaffected youth have flocked to fight with the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria - the most of any foreign country.

Jomaa said about 400 had returned and were under investigation.

Read more on:    north africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.