Tunisia’s new prime minister took office on Friday. Mehdi Jomaa will lead a caretaker administration until elections later this year. The move was agreed as a compromise between the Islamist government and secular opponents.
“The government will be composed not only of national technocrats – this will be the primary criterion – but also of independents,” Jomaa told reporters at a news conference in the presidential palace.
“I have had many consultations, I have listened to all parties, and I now have a vision,” he added.
The new premier takes office after the ruling Islamist party’s premier agreed to resign on Thursday. It is one of the final steps along the path to full democracy in the country.
Meanwhile, police fired tear gas this week to break up protests over a vehicle tax increase. The reform was dropped, but the new government will have to tackle tough cuts in public subsidies that risk pushing up fuel prices and flaming demonstrations.