Early poll possible in Tunisia

50

Tunisian President Kais Saied would dissolve parliament and call an early election if the new government fails to win a parliamentary confidence vote amid what he called the worst political crisis since independence in 1956.

Designated Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh proposed the line-up of a new government on Saturday and said negotiations would continue after the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, the biggest in parliament, rejected it.

With the largest parties opposed to his coalition or unenthusiastic about its makeup, Fakhfakh may struggle to gain the parliamentary majority needed for any significant political programme to tackle a severe economic crisis.

“I say it clearly: if government fails to win the confidence of parliament, the word will return to the people,” Saied said.

Unemployment has been high and growth low since the 2011 revolution, while government sunk further into debt with a series of big budget deficits foreign lenders want brought under control.

Ennahda’s nominee for Prime Minister, Habib Jemli, proposed a coalition government rejected by parliament in a confidence vote last month. \



“It is the worst political crisis in the country since independence,” Saied said.