Tunisian government shakeup: Outgoing PM gives encouragement, advice at handover ceremony

Published August 30th, 2016 - 02:00 GMT
Tunisia's new Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and outgoing PM Habib Essid exchange documents during the handing-over ceremony in Carthage on August 29, 2016. (AFP/Stringer)
Tunisia's new Prime Minister Youssef Chahed and outgoing PM Habib Essid exchange documents during the handing-over ceremony in Carthage on August 29, 2016. (AFP/Stringer)

Outgoing Prime Minister Habib Essid said Monday his government has managed to overcome the difficulties in its term particularly in the security, economic and social areas.

Essid, who was speaking at the handover ceremony in Dar Dhiafa, Carthage, called on Prime Minister Youssef Chahed to continue along the same lines, by supporting the security and military institutions in the ultimate goal of developing a counter-terrorism policy.

The outgoing PM also called to prioritise the path of dialogue to resolve the social crisis gripping the country (strikes and protests) and to strengthen mechanisms of control and fight against corruption.

"The outgoing government has operated in particularly difficult conditions in which Tunisia was hit by terrorist attacks that have had a negative impact on security and stability in the country," he said.

He, however, pointed out that the development of counter-terrorism policies, particularly regarding anticipatory operations and preventing 18,000 young Tunisians from travelling to hotbeds of tension remain the main achievements of his cabinet.

In addition, Essid said that the dialogue with the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the Tunisian Confederation of Union of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA) and the Tunisian Union of Agriculture and fisheries (UTAP) has had satisfactory results in improving the social climate. He also called for further dialogue in the mine basin area which produces phosphate.

The outgoing PM stressed that his cabinet had prepared the 2016-2020 development plan in addition to several important bills, citing the Supreme Judicial Council, the Constitutional Court that were adopted by Parliament without, however, omitting the draft electoral law and the code of local communities.

For his part, new Prime Minister Youssef Chahed said in a brief speech that the outgoing government in which he served as minister of local affairs has faced many difficulties citing security sector reforms.

"We must succeed, we have no choice," commented Youssef Chahed, considering that the peaceful alternation of power is a victory for democracy and clearly shows that democratic transition is underway.

At the end of the ceremony, outgoing PM Habib Essid handed new Prime Minister Youssef Chahed the 2016-2020 development plan document.

The ceremony was attended by the leaders of political parties represented in the House of People's Representatives (HRP) and signatories of the Carthage Document, the presidents of national bodies and organisations, Speaker of HPR Mohamed Ennaceur, the Deputy Speakers of HPR, the presidents of parliamentary groups, former prime ministers and national personalities.

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