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Tunisia’s President Saied approves new government | News

Development comes 11 weeks after Saied sacked the PM, suspended parliament and granted himself judicial powers.

Tunisia’s President Kais Saied has approved a new government selected by newly appointed Prime Minister Najla Bouden Romdhane.

The development came on Monday, 11 weeks after Saied sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and granted himself judicial powers in a July 25 power grab that opponents have termed a coup.

“The president of the Republic has issued a decree naming the head of government and its members,” the presidency said in a statement, shortly before state TV broadcast a swearing-in ceremony.

On Monday, Bouden named Samir Said, a banker, as economy and planning minister, and Taoufik Charfeddine as interior minister.

She kept Othman Jerandi as the foreign minister and Sihem Boughdiri as finance minister – both had been appointed earlier by Saied.

The appointment of a new government has been urgently requested by Tunisian political players and foreign donors for weeks and Saied has said he would after its appointment launch a dialogue about the future.

Saied, elected on an anti-system ticket in late 2019, has said his action seeks to save Tunisia from “imminent peril” and a socioeconomic crisis aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although Saied’s measures in July enjoyed significant public support, civil society groups warned of a drift away from democracy.

At least 6,000 Tunisians rallied on Sunday against a presidential power grab.

Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings, with the resignation of the country’s longtime ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.

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