Tunisian President Tabs New Prime Minister-Designate
The political turmoil in Tunisia entered a new phase on Sunday when Interior Minister Hichem Mechichi claimed the prime minister’s seat and embarked on his quest to form a stable government. President Kais Saied appointed Mechichi, a 46-year-old lawyer, despite the fact that he was not recommended as a viable option by any political party. The new prime minister will now be afforded one month to establish his government, after which, if he fails, Tunisia will head to general parliamentary elections. Mechichi’s predecessor, Elyes Fakhfakh, was forced to resign two weeks ago after coalition partners accused him of corruption and threatened to pass a vote of no confidence against him. Tunisia is considered the poster child for post-Arab Spring democracy-building. The first country to see mass protests against its repressive regime, it conducted what Western observers deemed free and fair elections in 2011 after longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s resignation and bolting to Saudi Arabia.