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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - TUNIS — Tunisian Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi on Saturday announced a Cabinet reshuffle, naming 12 new ministers, DPA reported.
Mechichi appointed Walid Dhabi as interior minister after Taoufik Charfeddine had been sacked. Chiheb Ben Ahmed was named environment minister and Youssef bin Ibrahim was appointed culture minister.
Mechichi this month had sacked Charfeddine, who is close to President Kais Saied, a move underscoring tensions between the country’s two most powerful leaders
Saied and Mechichi are at odds over their respective powers and political alliances.
Youssef Zouaghi was named justice minister, Sofien Ben Touns is the new energy minister and Oussama Kheriji has the agriculture portfolio.
"The coming stage is full of challenges and economic reforms in order to achieve social justice," Mechichi said. The Tunisian parliament is expected to hold a session to vote on the new line-up.
Mechichi hopes the shuffle will inject new blood into his government amid rising political tensions and an unprecedented economic crisis.
Hedi Khairi was named health minister following criticism over the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, with the official date for the start of vaccinations in Tunisia still unknown.
Disputes have also shaken the ranks of coalition partners supporting the government, with the Karama party refusing to vote on the reshuffle and threatening to leave the coalition.
“The next stage is full of challenges, including the necessary reforms for the economy, which require increased efficiency and harmony,” Mechichi said. — Agencies
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