National Unity Government- Reshuffle: 13 departments concerned, including Interior, Defence, Finance and Trade | Tunisia News Gazette

National Unity Government- Reshuffle: 13 departments concerned, including Interior, Defence, Finance and Trade

The reshuffle carried out by the Prime Minister of the national unity government Youssef Chahed after a year of its formation is marked by the importance of the number of portfolios concerned (13 ministerial posts, 7 posts of secretaries of state) and the sensitivity of some ministries concerned by these changes, namely the Ministries of the Interior, Defence, Finance and Trade.

The government is strengthened with a total of 28 ministers and 15 secretaries of state, after it was composed of 26 ministers and 14 secretaries of state last year in August (26 ministers and 14 secretaries of state) before to be limited to 25 ministers after the removal of the Ministry of Civil Service and Governance.

The reshuffle is also marked by the creation of three new ministries – trade, industry and small enterprises (SMEs), state property and land affairs, in addition to a Ministry of Major Reforms.

Similarly, four new State Secretariats were established: a State Secretariat for Economic Diplomacy, a State Secretariat for Industry and SMEs, a State Secretariat for Foreign Trade and a State Secretariat for Health. On the other hand, the Secretary of State for Tunisian Immigrants was attached to the Ministry of Social Affairs after being part of the Department of Foreign Affairs. Besides, the State Secretariat for Agricultural Production was removed.

Minister of Foreign Affairs Khemaies Jhinaoui and Minister of Justice Ghazi Jribi retained their posts, while Interior Minister Hedi Mejdoub was replaced by Lotfi Brahem and Defence Minister Farhet Horchani replaced by Abdelkarim Zbidi who had occupied this post after the Revolution.

In the new government, 15 ministers were kept in their posts, while three ministers held the same ministerial duties, namely Abdelkarim Zbiri in Defence, Ridha Chalgoum in Finance and Hatem Ben Salem in Education.

The new government includes only 6 women (3 ministers and 3 secretaries of state), while the outgoing cabinet counted 8 women. Salma Loumi (tourism), Naziha Laabidi (women and family), Majdoline Cherni (youth and sport), Sonia Cheikh (State Secretary for Health), Sarra Rejeb (Secretary of State for Transport) and Saida Ounissi (Secretary of State for Vocational Training).

At the political level, the government is represented by the majority of the parties who signed the Pact of Carthage. It includes names belonging to Nidaa Tounes which has the lion’s share, Ennahda movement, Afek Tounes parties, Al Joumhouri, the Democratic Path, as well as figures close to UGTT and UTICA.

Khaled Chawket of Nidaa Tounes said the party is “satisfied with the reshuffle”, arguing that it “preserved the balance that led to the formation of the national unity government on the basis of the Carthage Pact”.

This political party had incessantly demanded that its representation in the government “reflect its position as the winning party of the elections”, while Ennahdha party had pronounced itself by a partial reshuffle to fill vacancies.

For their part, Machrouu Tounes movement and the democratic bloc had warned against the partisan quotas imposed on the head of government, calling for a skilled government team.

Youssef Chahed defended on Wednesday, after reporting to the president of the republic the government’s balance sheet after a year of its formation, “the need to make this partial reshuffle after assessing the steps taken in relation to the objectives set by the pact of Carthage resulting from the initiative of the president of the republic to form this enlarged government.

He stressed that he assured the parties forming the government of national unity and the national organisations signatories of the pact of Carthage that his new team “will be a war government against terrorism and corruption and for development, employment and the fight against regional disparity “.

The Prime Minister will consult the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) on the date of the plenary session for the approval of the cabinet reshuffle.

The new members of the government must obtain the majority of the votes of the deputies, i.e. 109 votes at least.

Source: TAP News Agency

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