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Tunisian President Nominates Relative to Lead National Unity Government | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi (AP/Lyess Osmane)

Tunisia-Tunisia’s political leaders will meet at the Presidential Palace in Carthage on Wednesday to agree on the prime minister who would lead Tunisia’s national unity government, well-informed sources told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

The meeting will also see the announcement of the positions of the Tunisian General Labor Union and the Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts towards the Tunisian president’s nomination of his relative, Youssef Al-Chahed to occupy the post of the prime minister.

Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi has proposed a family member as his candidate to replace ousted Premier Habib Essid.

Chahed is the incumbent Minister in charge of local affairs in the caretaker government chaired by Prime Minister Habib Essid, who lost the no-confidence vote last Sunday at the Parliament.

In response to criticism, the Tunisian president called on the country’s political parties to nominate their own candidates to the premiership.

In this context, political parties called for holding urgent meetings in the wake of severe disagreements over Chahed’s nomination. Local media outlets said that the latter was the president’s son-in-law. The presidential office did not comment on the issue.

Chahed, 41, obtained a doctorate in agricultural sciences from France. He is also a researcher and university professor in agricultural economics and has taught at several Tunisian and French universities.

Political leaders’ reactions to the president’s move have showed strong disagreements over Chahed’s nomination.

Nidaa Tounes, the largest bloc in the legislature until a recent split, said it would support the president’s choice. Another political group – Annahda – said it would not object the nomination of Al-Chahed as prime minister.

On the other hand, the head of the Chaab political movement, Zuhair Al-Maghzaoui, said Monday the group would withdraw from the national unity government talks if the new prime minister is selected from either of the two main parties.

For its part, Afaaq Tunis Party, which is led by Yassin Ibrahim, said it would support a consensus over Chahed, as the latter had important characteristics, such as his young age and rich experience.