//Tunisia PM forms govt despite majority party opting out

Tunisia PM forms govt despite majority party opting out

Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh formed a new government on Saturday.

The former finance minister, was tasked by Tunisia’s president with forming a government after a previous list proposed under the leadership of the Ennahdha party was rejected by parliament following October legislative elections.

Prime Minister Fakhfakh said of his government: “At this historical moment, we have decided with the president to make the most out of what is left of the constitutional delays.”

Several of the ministers chosen by Fakhfakh to join the cabinet are from the ranks of the Islamist-inspired party. But even before he officially announced the lineup, Ennahdha said it was pulling out of the government.

“Despite our efforts, one of our main partners, I’m talking about Ennahdha, decided this afternoon, an hour before the announcement, to withdraw from this government’s formation. This decision places our country in a difficult position,” he stressed.

Ennahdha won more seats than any other party in October’s legislative election, but was still far short of a majority.

It is demanding a national unity government that would include the party of defeated presidential candidate Nabil Karoui, which is the second biggest in parliament with 38 seats.

If there is no government in place by March 15, Tunisian President Kais Saied could dissolve parliament and call fresh elections.