​Tunisia’s PM-designate holds talks on forming govt

December 19, 2013 - 6:52:06 am

Newly appointed Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa arrives to meet Tunisian Constituent Assembly President Mustapha Ben Jaafar in Tunis yesterday.

TUNIS: Tunisia’s designated prime minister Mehdi Jomaa said yesterday he is holding consultations on forming a new government of independents aimed at ending the months-old political crisis plaguing the country.

“As part of the consultations, I met the parliamentary speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar. The consultations are ongoing and we have not reached the stage of forming a government,” Jomaa told reporters.

Speaking after meeting Ben Jaafar at the National Assembly, Tunisia’s newly nominated premier said his cabinet would be formed of ministers who were politically “independent” and “competent,” without elaborating.

They were Jomaa’s first comments since the former industry minister was chosen by Tunisia’s political parties on Saturday to head a caretaker government of technocrats, after months of protracted negotiations.

Talks on the timetable and conditions for forming the new administration to replace outgoing Islamist premier Ali Larayedh’s cabinet are to formally begin on Friday, according to the UGTT trade union, which has been mediating an end to the political deadlock.AFP


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