PM Essid loses confidence vote
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”. –
Prime Minister Habib Essid has been criticised for failing to tackle Tunisia’s many problems.