Tunisia announces new government lineup

TUNIS (AA) – Tunisian Prime Minister-designate Habib Essid on Friday announced the lineup of his cabinet, which includes 24 government ministers and 15 state secretaries.

In Tunisia, state secretaries are government officials who do not hold ministerial portfolios but who are given specific tasks of state.

“The new government is composed of national competencies that include political figures, civil society activists, and experts, with a substantial presence of women and youth,” Essid said at a press conference held in Tunisia’s presidential palace.

“It is a government for all Tunisians that aims to manifest the goals of the revolution, establish a democratic atmosphere and serve national interests above partisan ones,” Essid added.

The prime minister-designate went on to say that “the [new] government’s program emanates from the political platform of the Nidaa Tounes Party, as well as platforms of other parties and some civil society organizations.”

Earlier this month, Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi officially tasked Essid with forming a government.

The new government lineup will now be presented to parliament for approval.

With 86 out of 217 seats in parliament, Essebsi’s Nidaa Tounes party won Tunisia’s parliamentary election, which was held last October.

The Islamist Ennahda party came in second, with 69 seats.

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