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Tunisia: Independent politicians nominated to head new government

Lawmakers attend the parliament session on vote of confidence for Hisham al-Furati appointed as Minister of the Interior, in Tunis, Tunisia on 28 July, 2018 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Lawmakers attend a parliament session in Tunis, Tunisia on 28 July, 2018 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Informed sources in Tunisia have revealed the names of six politicians nominated to head the next government, Anadolu Agency has reported. Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources said that most of the six are independents. They were named as Mongi Marzouk, Taoufik Rajhi, Fadhel Abdelkefi, Habib Karaouli, Marwan Al-Abbasi and Elyes Fakhfakh.

Marzouk, 58, is a telecommunications expert and served as Minister of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in the governments of Hammadi Jebali and Ali Laarayedh in 2012-2013, in which Fakhfakh, 47, also served as Minister of Tourism and Finance. Fakhfakh is the leader of the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties (Social Democrat) in Tunisia.

Rajhi, 59, is an economist and also has ministerial experience as minister in charge of major reforms since 2016. Abdelkefi, 49, became Minister of Development and Investment in Youssef Chahed’s government in August 2016 before resigning a year later following the filing of a controversial lawsuit against him by Tunisian customs officials.

Neither of the other two candidates have any obvious direct government experience. Independent Karaouli is an economist, as is Al-Abassi, 60, who has been governor of the Central Bank of Tunisia since February 2018.

On Sunday, the Shura Council of Ennahda decided to nominate the movement’s president, Rached Ghannouchi, as chairman of the People’s Assembly while preserving the movement’s Constitutional right as the major party in parliament to appoint the Prime Minister. A member of the council, Mohsen Al-Sudani, did not say whether the movement’s candidate for Prime Minister will be chosen from among Ennahda leaders or from outside the party.

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