A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, March 8, 2013

Tunisia Names a Government at Last

Ali Laarayedh has finally put together the long-awaited reshuffled government in Tunisia, led again by al-Nahda and joined by President Moncef Marzouki's Congress for the Republic and the center-left Ettakatol. Three other parties declined to join despite being asked. Today was the deadline for Laarayedh.

Al-Nahda has a statement on its Facebook page saying that its own members make up only 28% of the new Cabinet, down from 40%, and citing this list:
Ali Laarayedh: Prime Minister
Noureddine Bhiri: Political Advisor to PM
Ridha Saidi: Economic Advisor to PM
Abderrahman Ladgham: Advisor to PM on good governance & combating corruption
Lotfi Ben Jeddou: Interior Minister
Said Mchichi: Interior under-secretary for local & regional affairs
Othman Jarandi: Foreign Minister
Leila Bahria: Foreign Affairs under-secretary
Rachid Sabagh: Defence Minister
Nadhir Ben Ammou: Justice Minister
Abdelwahhab Maatar: Trade Minister
Jamal Gamra: Tourism Minister
Mehdi Jomaa: Industry Minister
Selim Labiadh: Education Minister
Elyes Fakhfakh: Finance Minister
Chedhli Abed: Finance under-secretary
Mehdi Mabrouk: Culture Minister
Abdellatif Mekki: Health Minister
Mohamed Ben Salem:Agriculture Minister
Habib Jemli: Agriculture under-secretary
Sihem Badi: Women affairs Minister
Noureddine Khadmi: Religious Affairs Minister
Khalil Zaouia: Social Affairs Minister
Houcine Jaziri: Immigration under-secretary
Moncef Ben Salem: Higher Education Minister
Slim Ben Hmidene: State Property Minister
Abdelkarim Harouni: Transport Minister
Mohamed Salman: Equipment Minister
Chahida Ben Frej Bouraoui: Housing under-secretary
Sadok Amri: Environment under-secretary
Tarek Dhieb: Youth & Sport Minister
Fethi Touzri: Youth & Sport under-secretary
Monji Marzouk: Technology Minister
Naoufel Jammali: Employment Minister
Samir Dilou: Human Rights & Transitional Justice Minister
Amine Doghri: Development & International Cooperation Minister
Noureddine Kaabi: Regional Development under-secretary
Reuters adds some analysis:
Ennahda has ceded control of several key ministries to independents in the new cabinet, with career diplomat Othman Jarandi named as foreign minister, Lotfi Ben Jedou interior minister and Rachid Sabbagh defence minister.
Elyess Fakhfakh of Ettakatol, an economist, keeps the finance portfolio.
Jarandi, a former ambassador to the United Nations, has strong ties with international bodies and the West.
Ben Jedou and Sabbagh are both judges. Ben Jedou took part in an investigation into the killing of dozens of young men during the "Jasmine Revolution" that toppled Ben Ali and inspired revolts against autocrats around the Arab world.
Twelve members of Jebali's cabinet stay on, including Agriculture Minister Mohamed Ben Salem and Human Rights Minister Samir Dilou, who are both members of Ennahda, as well as Culture Minister Mehdi Mabrouk, an independent. 
The Cabinet must still be approved by the President and the Constituent Assembly, and will serve until elections later this year.

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