the republic logo

Ex-interior minister tasked to form new government in Tunisia, become prime minister

bug
Share/Save/Bookmark

TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia's largest political party chose a veteran from the country's former dictatorship as its candidate for prime minister Monday and he began work immediately on forming a coalition government.

Habib Essid, 65, was asked by the newly elected president to form a coalition and name a Cabinet over the next month. He previously held several posts under former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, including in the Interior Ministry, which manages the police. After the 2011 revolution that overthrew Ben Ali, Essid also served as interior minister in one of the transitional governments.

Tunisia completed its political transition with a string of elections in 2014, with the most votes going to Nida Tunis, a party that includes many members of the old regime and has promised stability after a transition marked by unrest.

President Beji Caid Essebsi, who formed the party, was inaugurated last week. Nida Tunis must form a coalition with several other parties in the parliament to gain a majority.

"From today, we will start the consultations with the parties, national institutions and civil society," Essid said.

U.S. President Barack Obama called President Essebsi Monday to congratulate him on his victory in the presidential election and invite him to visit Washington, the White House said.

It said Obama commended the Tunisians for the spirit of peaceful compromise that has prevailed throughout their historic democratic transition of the last four years and underscored the United States' readiness to assist the incoming government.

Tunisia's moderate Islamists, who won the election immediately after the 2011 revolution, remain the second largest party in the parliament but are not expected to be part of the coalition.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

Story copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Feedback, Corrections and Other Requests: AP welcomes feedback and comments from readers. Send an email to info@ap.org and it will be forwarded to the appropriate editor or reporter.


PHOTO: FILE - This May 16, 2011 file photo shows Habib Essi in Tunis. Tunisia’s largest political party has chosen Monday, Jan.5, 2015 Essi, an official of the old regime and a former interior minister, as its candidate for prime minister to form a coalition to run the country. Essid’s Nida Tunis Party won the most seats in parliament in October’s elections but not a majority. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi, File)

FILE - This May 16, 2011 file photo shows Habib Essi in Tunis. Tunisia’s largest political party has chosen Monday, Jan.5, 2015 Essi, an official of the old regime and a former interior minister, as its candidate for prime minister to form a coalition to run the country. Essid’s Nida Tunis Party won the most seats in parliament in October’s elections but not a majority. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi, File)

 

We also have more stories about:
(click the phrases to see a list)

Category:

Follow The Republic:

All content copyright ©2015 The Republic, a division of Home News Enterprises unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.