Published:  01:26 AM, 12 January 2020

Tunisian MPs vote on new govt

Tunisian MPs vote on new govt Tunisia's Prime Minister-designate Habib Jemli addresses parliamentarians during a plenary session in the capital Tunis, on Friday. -AFP

Lawmakers in Tunisia were voting on a new government Friday, but only the moderate Islamist party that finished first in an October election said it would support the Cabinet proposed by its designated prime minister.

Tunisia has been in a state of political deadlock since the Oct. 6 parliamentary election, in which the Ennahda party won the most votes but only 53 of the 217 seats.

Prime Minister-designate Habib Jemli formed a government last week made up of independent figures. Jemli said the ministers he selected were best-positioned to get through needed reforms after nine years of socioeconomic difficulties.

A dictatorial regime was brought down in the North African country during tumultuous 2011 events that triggered the Arab Spring. President Kais Saied, who was elected as head of state a week after the parliamentary election, ran as an independent outsider with support from Ennahdha.

If Jemli's proposed government does not win approval, Saied might ask another political figure to try to build support for a majority coalition government. Prime Minister Youssef Chahed will continue as a caretaker head of government until a new government is approved. If the impasse drags on, another election could be called.


---AP, Tunis

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