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TUNISIA - Tunisian premier names new caretaker cabinet

January 26, 2014

FRANCE 24

Tunisia's interim prime minister Mehdi Jomaa on Sunday named a new caretaker government to guide the country to new elections, but chose to keep on the widely criticized interior minister. Jomaa had been working since January 10 to form a government of technocrats after a political crisis began last year between Islamists and the opposition following the assassination of an opposition politician . The new government of 21 ministers includes two women and only one holdover from the previous Cabinet, the interior minister. The opposition had originally opposed Lotfi Ben Jeddou keeping his position, saying he had not done enough to prevent the assassination of the left-wing politician last year. Jomaa justified maintaining Ben Jeddou because of the fragile state of the country's security and the need for continuity. Jooma also named Hakim Ben Hammouda , an economist with experience at the African Development Bank , as finance minister and Mongi Hamdi , a former UN official, as foreign minister. The announcement comes as the elected constitutional assembly is set to vote on the new constitution, which has been two years in the making and sets the basis for a new democratic state. Tunisians overthrew their long-ruling president, Zine el- Abidine Ben Ali , in 2011, inspiring pro-democracy uprisings around the region. Building a new democracy, however, has been marked by long delays, social unrest and terrorist attacks. The elected assembly will have three days to approve the new Cabinet, which will serve until new elections some time in 2014. ( FRANCE 24 with AP, REUTERS) More videos available on http://www.france24.com/en


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Source: FRANCE 24


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