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Deadline to submit premiership candidates in Tunisia


Deadline to submit premiership candidates in Tunisia

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Photo: REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi/File Photo

Today marks the deadline for Tunisian political parties to present their candidates to President Kais Saied for the country’s premiership.

The nominations arrive following the July 15 resignation of Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh due to allegations of corruption. Despite his formation of a coalition government, Fakhfakh—appointed by President Saied in February—was unable to navigate a newly fragmented political landscape, leading to parliamentary gridlock. The tumultuous 2019 parliamentary elections saw a disintegration of existing party lines; in particular, the previously dominant Ennahda party faced major losses to recently evolved coalition parties.

The fledgling democracy now faces a crisis stemming from political over-saturation and a lack of messaging, exemplified by Ennahda leader Rached Ghannouchi’s upcoming vote of confidence. Political parties must now submit their candidates to Saied, after which the chosen PM will have until August 26 to form a new government from the foundations of the old. If unable, new parliamentary elections will be held this year in the hopes of forming a more cohesive political landscape.

It is highly unlikely that current parties will be able to nominate a candidate capable of cobbling together a coalition government, boosting the likelihood of elections later this year. Expect a continued breakdown of existing Tunisian politics as parliament fails to address the flaws within its electoral system.

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