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Tunisia General Labour Union calls on new ministers to quit to end crisis

Tunisian General Secretary of Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi in Tunis, Tunisia on 14 January 2020 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian General Secretary of Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi in Tunis, Tunisia on 14 January 2020 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Secretary-General of Tunisia's General Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi, a prominent actor in the country's political scene, on Friday called on four ministers appointed by the prime minister in a cabinet reshuffle to quit, to end the ongoing political crisis.

Last week, parliament approved a broad cabinet reshuffle proposed by Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, who appointed 11 ministers including the ministers of interior, justice and health.

However, President Kais Saied rejected the rearrangement, under the pretext that suspicions of conflicts of interest surround some of the government's new members. He refused the appointments of the ministers of health, energy, employment and sports.

Saied added that he would not back down from his stance, which escalated the dispute between the two heads of the country's executive authority.

The calls made by the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, the UGTT, were seen as a step to ease the political crisis, which adds momentum to a stifling economic and social impasse amid protests that have been ongoing for nearly three weeks, calling for development and social and economic justice.

Taboubi told Express FM: "I kindly ask the proposed ministers who are the subject of disagreement to withdraw and quit for the sake of the homeland's interests."

READ: Will the new Tunisia government reshuffle go ahead?

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