New Tunisian PM-designate Promises to Tackle Poverty
Tunisian President Kais Saied (right) is shown on January 21 handing over a document officially tasking Elyes Fakhfakh (left) with forming new government, at the Carthage Palace in Tunis. (Tunisian Presidency - handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

New Tunisian PM-designate Promises to Tackle Poverty

Elyes Fakhfakh, who was chosen on Monday by Tunisian President Kais Saied to attempt to form the country’s next government, says he intends to improve the situation of Tunisia’s poor as well as regions that have been neglected. “We will… establish the conditions for a fair and strong state, a state that will reward weaker regions and weaker neighborhoods, and end decades of poverty and marginalization,” he said after Saied announced his choice. Fakhfakh, who has held the finance and tourism portfolios – and unsuccessfully ran against Saied last year for the presidency – has a month to establish a government. Earlier in January, parliament rejected a government presented by then-prime minister-designate Habib Jemli. Tunisia, the only nation to come out of the so-called Arab Spring with a new, democratic system in place, has a deeply divided parliament in which the largest party holds barely one-quarter of the seats, meaning the establishment of a government, not to mention the passing of legislation, will be extremely difficult to accomplish.

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