Tunisia: Essid Loses Parliament Confidence, Government to Step down

arp-tunisiaTunisian parliament Saturday withdrew its confidence in Prime Minister Habib Essid as expected after lawmakers of the ruling coalition backed the President’s proposal to form a unity government.

118 out of the 191 lawmakers present during the session rejected embattled Essid’s premiership report, even though he asserted that his government achieved some success against the numerous economic, social and security challenges the North African country has been facing up over the past two years.

27 lawmakers abstained. The Tunisian parliament counts 207 seats.

Appointed Prime Minister less than two years ago, Habib Essid’s spell in the position has been shaken by security, economic and social issues that nearly produced a remake of the 2011 revolution last year.

Social riots claimed jobs for youths swept across the country last year letting analysts fear for a new political instability in the North African country after a successful transition into democracy.

The ruling coalition made of Nidaa Tounes, Ennahda (the largest party in the parliament), Afek Tounes and UPL earlier announced they would not back Essid adding that the country needed a new cabinet leader to lift the country out of the economic slowdown that has crippled the country’s growth.

The coalition and other parties as well as some civil society movements have back President Caid Essebsi’s June 2 call for the formation of a unity government to meet the challenges. They inked the Carthage Agreement paving the way to the unity government.

With parliament voting out Essid’s team, President Essebsi now has ten days to appoint a new government leader who will be tasked to form the unity government.

Essid who underlined the success scored by his cabinet said the President’s call for a unity government has jeopardized the course of progress achieved despite the growing terrorist threat.

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