Tunisia Prime Minister Dismissed by Parliament

Tunisia Prime Minister

The Prime Minister Habib Essid has been unseated after Members of Parliament voted him out.

Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid has been ousted after overwhelmingly losing a vote of confidence in parliament.
In power for a year and a half, Essid’s opponents said he had failed to tackle the country’s economic and security problems.
A total of 118
members of parliament voted late on Saturday to unseat Essid; three
voted for him to stay at the helm; and 27 abstained.
The results were
largely expected, with several ruling coalition party members declaring
ahead of the session that they were not going to renew their confidence
in the prime minister.
Earlier on Saturday, Essid, 67, had told parliament he knew he would be voted out.

“I didn’t come to
obtain the 109 votes [needed to remain in office]. I came to expose
things to the people and to members of parliament,” said Essid.

Negotiations on a replacement were expected to start on Monday.
Essid had been
under pressure to quit since President Beji Caid Essebsi called for a
new unity government last month to push through reforms and calm social
tensions over the country’s economic crisis, high unemployment and
recent security issues.

‘Months of negotiations’

Political analyst Youssef Cherif said Saturday’s events were important not only for Tunisia, but for the region.
“This is the first
time in Tunisia that such an event happened; first time a government
goes to parliament and a vote of no confidence is recorded,” he told Al
Jazeera from the capital, Tunis, after the vote.
Cherif said, however, that the result would be bad news for the country’s economic and political situation.
“This will open the
doors again for days, weeks, even months of negotiations between
different political parties and different political players …
[putting] all the big projects that were supposed to take place on
standby until a new government is formed and voted in.”
Essid’s coalition
government was comprised of four groups, including Nidaa Tounes and the
Ennahda party, the largest parliamentary force.
“There is an
agreement between the parties and organisations on the need for change,”
Ennahda chief Rached Ghannouchi said last week, according to a Reuters
news agency report.


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