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Tunisia: Chahed to Announce National Unity Government Line-Up this Week | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Police officers are seen on the pavement outside parliament in Tunis March 18, 2015. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Tunisia- Following a series of consultations that have commenced in Carthage Palace on Wednesday, Youssef Chahed, prime minister-designate, is awaited to announce the line-up of the national unity government this week.

The Tunisian constitution stipulates that after his appointment, the PM-designate has one month to form his cabinet, which means the deadline ends on September 3.

Despite disagreement on assigning Chahed to form a new government, he announced receiving strong political support from Beji Caid Essebsi and Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party leader Rashid al-Ghannouchi. This support indicates that Chahed will face no difficulty in garnering unanimity when presenting the government line-up to the parliament.

Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party leaders hinted to an imminent second meeting between the assigned prime minister and the party in Carthage Palace to determine the ministerial portfolios to be handled by it.

Chahed needs the support of Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda representatives to get 109 votes out of 217 of the parliament and to win the vote of confidence.

Chahed is expected to announce the end of consultations with the six political parties and the three syndicate organizations on Monday. Reliable sources reported that the PM-designate will keep in his line-up some ministers from Habib Essid government.

Competition is fierce between Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda party (69 parliamentary seats) and Nidaa Tounes (67 parliamentary seats) following a considerable number of resignations in Nidaa Tounes due to internal political spats.

Number-wise, Nidaa Tounes and Tunisia’s Islamist Ennahda can actually provide more than the required majority but an additional number of votes is also essential to guarantee political stability and the largest possible number of political parties in the government.