Tunisia’s parliament on Friday rejected the government proposed by Prime Minister-designate Habib Jemli after months of negotiations.
Jemli, an independent candidate, was nominated by the Ennahdha party after it came out tops in legislative polls in October but failed to win enough seats to form a majority.
“It’s not a disappointment. It is a success for Tunisian democracy. It’s normal that a government presents itself to the Assembly of People’s Representatives and not be honoured’‘, Jemli said.
Lawmakers voted 134 to 72 against Jemli’s proposed government made up of independent figures over ‘‘frictions’’ between the parties regarding political appointments.
The agricultural engineer served as secretary of state at the agriculture ministry from 2011 to 2014 under Ennahdha prime ministers Hamadi Jebali and Ali Larayedh.
Ennahdha said its choice was “based on a person known for his competence, integrity and experience in administration”.
Tunisia’s president Kais Saied now has ten days to choose a new prime minister-designate. The nominee will attempt to form a new government acceptable by the 217 seat assembly.
If Saied’s candidate also fails to form a government, the next step would be dissolution of the assembly, risking further delays to measures needed to curb inflation and unemployment.