Tunisian PM-designate says to form government of 'independents'

 Tunisian PM-designate says to form government of independents

TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisia's prime minister-designate Habib Jemli will form a government made up of independents who do not represent political parties, he said at a news conference on Monday.

Jemli, who was nominated as prime minister by the moderate Islamist Ennahda party last month after it took most seats in October's parliamentary election, last week asked President Kais Saied for more time to form a government.

Talks to build a ruling coalition capable of winning a vote of confidence have proved difficult because the October election produced a fractured parliament in which no party held more than a quarter of seats.

Several of the main parties have either ruled out joining the government altogether or said they would not join if one or other major party was also involved, or if they did not secure several of the most important portfolios.

Jemli told Reuters last month he was a week away from announcing the government, but then failed to do so.

Tunisia, which adopted democracy after its 2011 revolution that sparked the "Arab spring" uprisings, has faced economic difficulties over the past eight years that have at times threatened to undermine its political transition.

The next government faces a difficult task in continuing economic reforms to bring its deficits and debt under tighter control, as demanded by foreign lenders, while raising growth and delivering better public services.

(Reporting by Mohammed Argoubi; writing by Angus McDowall; editing by Nick Macfi9e)

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Updated Date: Dec 24, 2019 01:13:26 IST