Tunisia’s Islamist government quits

By bne IntelliNews January 10, 2014

Tunisia's PM Ali Larayedh submitted late on January 9 the resignation of his Islamist government paving the way for the formation of a new technocrat cabinet that will oversee the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections, the state news agency TAP reported. The government resignation is part of a larger road map that has been negotiated over the past three months.

The designated PM Mehdi Jomaa, an engineer and former minister, will form the next cabinet within the next few days, Larayedh announced. The national assembly has already selected a nine-member electoral council that will organise and assign election dates and will also draw up electoral districts and set electorate lists. The parliament is also currently debating the new constitution.

Besides coping with the political situation, the new government will have to tackle the urgent issue of economic reforms including cutting some of the long-standing subsidies to help curb the budget deficit and meet the IMF’s recommendations.

International lenders are calling on Tunisia to reduce public subsidies to cut a budget deficit estimated to have hit 6.8% of GDP in 2013.

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