Tunisian defence, finance mins, cbank head keep jobs


Tunisia’s Islamist-led ruling coalition will keep the country’s ministers of defence and finance and the central bank governor in their posts when it announces a new government, a senior coalition source told Reuters.

The source, in the Islamist Ennahda party which leads the coalition, said apart from those posts “there will be a lot of changes (in the government line-up). It will be announced later today.”

Tunisia became the birth-place of the “Arab Spring” uprisings earlier this year after vegetable seller Mohamed Bouazizi set fire to himself in an act of protest that swelled into a revolution and ousted the president, Reuters reports.

In its first democratic election last month, Tunisia handed victory to Ennahda, the first time Islamists had won power in the Arab world since the Hamas faction won an election in the Palestinian Territories in 2006.

Tunisia’s sometimes bumpy transition to democracy is being watched closely by Egypt and Libya, where “Arab Spring” revolts pushed out entrenched leaders and where once-outlawed Islamists are also challenging for power.