On June 25, Saturday, Tunisian president Kais Saied designated Hichem Mechichi as the country’s new prime minister. Mechihi succeeds Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned last week after a no-confidence motion was presented against him in the parliament over allegations of corruption.
Mechichi is an independent in the parliament and served as interior minister under Fakhfakh. He has also served as legal advisor to the president. He now has a month to form the government and prove his majority, failing which, the president can dissolve the parliament and call for a fresh election.
No party won a majority in the last parliamentary elections held in Tunisia in October 2019. The Islamist Ennahda party, which forms the largest bloc in the parliament with 52 out of a total of 217 seats, promoted Fakhfakh as the prime minister in February. However, after public revelations that Fakhfakh had allegedly favored certain companies in getting government contracts, Ennahda filed a no-confidence motion against him leading to his resignation. Fakhfakh, the eighth prime minister of Tunisia since the 2011 revolution, served for less than five months in office.
The political situation in the country has become volatile after some parties filed a no-confidence motion against the speaker of the parliament Rached Ghannouchi, who heads Ennahda. The vote on the motion will take place on July 30.
Though Mechichi’s name was not proposed by any group in the parliament, president Saied chose him. The Democratic Current, a member of the ruling coalition and the third largest party in the parliament with 22 seats, has welcomed Mechichi’s appointment.