Tunisia’s parliament approves new constitution, PM Jomaa unveils new cabinet

By bne IntelliNews January 27, 2014

Tunisia's national assembly approved with an overwhelming majority the new constitution three years after the uprising that ended the former Ben Ali regime, the state news agency TAP reported. A total of 200 deputies voted ‘yes’ for the constitution while 12 others voted ‘no’ and 4 abstained.

The new constitution was the fruit of multilateral compromises among Tunisia’s major political parties which have succeeded so far to avoid any escalation of violence similar to the Egyptian case. The ruling Ennahda Islamic party seems to have learned from the fate of its Egyptian counterpart, the Muslim Brotherhood, and decided to ride the wave of change hoping to retain its strong positions in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

The new constitution recognises Islam as the country's religion, but it also advocates freedom of conscience and belief, and equality between the sexes.

Prior to the constitution vote, that took place on Sunday evening, the recently appointed PM Mehdi Jomaa announced a new 28-member technocrat government that will rule the country for a transitional period and oversee the upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections whose dates are yet to be designated.  

The government of Mehdi Jomaa is composed of 21 ministers and 7 secretaries of state including three women. Hakim Ben Hammouda, an economist who worked at the African Development Bank, was named finance minister and Mongi Hamdi, a former UN official, foreign minister. Minister of the Interior in the previous Ennahda government, Lofti Ben Jeddou, was re-appointed at the head of the ministry. A post of Minister Delegate to the Minister of the Interior in charge of Security was created.

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. At any rate, the political agreement will help ease the pressure on Tunisia’s sovereign ratings following the recent downgrades.  

Related Articles

EBRD prepares to welcome Lebanon into fold

The EBRD is set to welcome its 66th member country and the fifth from the southern and eastern Mediterranean (SEMED) region once the Lebanese government finalises the last steps of the joining ... more

Russia and Saudi Arabia to launch joint projects worth $3bn in 2017

Russia and Saudi Arabia will launch joint projects worth $3bn by the end of 2017, the speaker of Russia’s Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko said at talks with members of the Russian-Saudi ... more

Egypt’s President El Sisi to announce state of emergency after church bombings

Egypt’s President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi announced in a televised speech his intention to impose a nationwide state of emergency for three months following two deadly bomb attacks on Christian ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or purchase 12 months full website access including the bne Magazine for just $119/year.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at sales@intellinews.com

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

Already a subscriber or registered - click here to recover access.

If you a IntelliNews Pro user - click here to login.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address.
A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.

Dismiss