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Updated Jul 17, 2020
Elyes Fakhfakh
Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned as prime minister of Tunisia on Wednesday, July 15. (AFP)

Tunisian prime minister Elyes Fakhfakh abruptly resigned on Wednesday, having served in the office since February 28, once again leaving Tunisia in a political quandary. Fakhfakh’s resignation comes a day after Ennahdha, the largest political party in parliament, tabled a vote of no confidence in the former prime minister’s government over allegations of a conflict of interest involving him. Documents came to light last month showing that Fakhfakh owns shares in companies that previously won contracts worth about US$15 million from the state. Investigations have been opened.

While there has been heightened tensions as a result of these allegations, the last straw for Ennahdha was probably Fakhfakh’s announcement on Monday that he would conduct a cabinet reshuffle within days, which they suspected would lead to him firing Ennahda ministers. Right after he had submitted his resignation, Fakhfakh did indeed dismiss six ministers affiliated with Ennahda. 

 

It now falls to President Saied to designate Fakhfakh’s successor within a month

 

When President Kais Saied appointed Fakhfakh in January to form a new government, it came after weeks of deliberations in parliament had yielded no clear majority vote for the cabinet lineup of the previous nominee, Ennahdha’s candidate Habib al-Jamali.

It now falls to President Saied to designate Fakhfakh’s successor within a month. The prime minister designate will then have to form a new government that would pass a majority vote, failing which, the country would have to hold new legislative elections.

 

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