PM Es­sid loses con­fi­dence vote

The Myanmar Times - - World -

TU­NISIAN Prime Min­is­ter Habib Es­sid lost a con­fi­dence vote in par­lia­ment, in a move that risks plung­ing the coun­try into fresh po­lit­i­cal un­cer­tainty.

Law­mak­ers voted over­whelm­ingly on July 30 in favour of dis­miss­ing Mr Es­sid, whose gov­ern­ment has been crit­i­cised for fail­ing to tackle the coun­try’s eco­nomic cri­sis, high un­em­ploy­ment and a series of ji­hadist at­tacks since com­ing to power 18 months ago.

Out of Tu­nisia’s 217 MPs, 191 were present for the vote. A to­tal of 118 voted to un­seat Mr Es­sid, three voted for him to stay at the helm of the North African na­tion and 27 ab­stained.

The 67-year-old prime min­is­ter had been un­der grow­ing pres­sure since Pres­i­dent Beji Caid Essebsi ap­peared on local tele­vi­sion in June to crit­i­cise the ad­min­is­tra­tion and pro­pose cre­at­ing a new gov­ern­ment of na­tional unity.

Mr Essebsi is now re­quired to launch con­sul­ta­tions within 10 days to choose the “most suit­able per­son” to form a new gov­ern­ment, though no clear fron­trun­ner has emerged so far from ei­ther side.

The no-con­fi­dence out­come was widely ex­pected af­ter the four par­ties that make up Mr Es­sid’s coali­tion said they would vote to oust him.

Speak­ing be­fore the vote, MPs praised Mr Es­sid for his “in­tegrity” but also crit­i­cised his record.

Ab­de­laziz Kotti, of Essebsi’s Ni­daa Tounes party, spoke of “a big eco­nomic cri­sis ... and a gov­ern­ment in­ca­pable of find­ing so­lu­tions and giv­ing Tu­nisians hope”. –

Photo: AFP

Prime Min­is­ter Habib Es­sid has been crit­i­cised for fail­ing to tackle Tu­nisia’s many prob­lems.

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