Cabinet appointments derailed as PM delays confidence vote
Prime Minister-designate Habib Essid has been forced to delay a confidence vote in his new government after it became clear that he might be defeated.
Last week the Prime Minister designate announced his new Cabinet but, crucially, it was short on names from other political parties. The Prime Minister’s Nidaa Tounes party took 86 of the 217 seats in the Assembly of Representatives in the October 2014 election. They need 109 seats for a majority, or an additional 23 seats.
No one party other than the Islamist Ennahda Movement with 69 seats can provide the required majority. The Free Patriotic Movement came third with 16 seats and the Popular Front took 15 seats. After that there are twelve much smaller parties with less than ten seats.
Afek Tounes holds eight seats and is a likely coalition partner but the Prime Minister has been obliged to talk to Ennahda and the left-wing Popular Front. Ennahda has said that it is open to a unity government proposal but the Prime Minister will have difficulty with some in his own party who are opposed to a coalition government with the Islamists.