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Tunisia president accepts new ministers, easing high-level standoff

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi gives a press conference in Tunis, Tunisia on November 8, 2018 [Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images]
Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi gives a press conference in Tunis, Tunisia on November 8, 2018 [Fethi Belaid/AFP/Getty Images]

Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi said today he was ready to swear in ten new ministers named in a reshuffle that he had originally rejected, easing a high-level political standoff that has alarmed donors, Reuters reported.

Prime Minister Youssef Chahed announced the reshuffle on Monday – but Essebsi quickly rejected it, saying he had not been consulted.

He relented today and told reporters he would swear in the ministers if parliament approved the changes. “I have no problem with the prime minister but I dislike the handling of his reshuffle,” he said.

The dispute highlighted tensions at the highest levels of Tunisian politics that have been exacerbated by an economic crisis.

Read: Ennahda backs new Tunisia government, Nidaa Tounes says it’s a coup

Chahed’s reshuffle announced is the 10th major cabinet overhaul since 2011 when the country witnessed mass protests calling for change. He said it would “make the work of government more effective and to put an end to the political and economic crisis”.

Chahed kept the leadership of finance, foreign and the interior ministries unchanged.

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