Interim PM announces new Tunisia Cabinet
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia’s interim prime minister announced on Sunday his new government following a 24-hour delay over the post of interior minister.
Mehdi Jomaa, the interim prime minister, had been working since Jan. 10 to form a government of technocrats to guide the country to new elections after a political crisis that began last year between Islamists and the opposition following the assassination of an opposition politician.
The new government of 21 ministers includes two women and only one holdover from the previous Cabinet, the interior minister.
The opposition had originally opposed Lotfi Ben Jeddou keeping his position, saying he hadn’t done enough to prevent the assassination of the left-wing politician last year.
Jomaa justified maintaining Ben Jeddou because of the fragile state of the country’s security and the need for continuity.
The announcement comes as the elected constitutional assembly is set to vote on the new constitution, which has been two years in the making and sets the basis for a new democratic state.
Tunisians overthrew their long-ruling president in 2011, inspiring pro-democracy uprisings around the region. Building a new democracy, however, has been marked by long delays, social unrest and terrorist attacks.
The elected assembly will have three days to approve the new Cabinet, which will serve until new elections some time in 2014.