Tunisia president designates new PM

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Tunisian President Kais Saied designated the interior minister as the new prime minister to succeed Elyes Fakhfakh, who resigned over allegations of a conflict of interest.

New premier Hichem Mechichi, 46, an independent, now has a month to form a government capable of winning a confidence vote in parliament by a simple majority, or the president will dissolve parliament and call for another election with urgent economic decisions hanging over Tunisia.

The resignation of Fakhfakh this month rippled through parliament, where parties are seeking a no-confidence motion against Speaker Rached Ghannouchi, the leader of the moderate Islamist Ennahda party. A session is scheduled for Thursday but with Saied choosing Mechichi, the result of any vote in parliament not guaranteed.

Mechichi is seen close to Saied and served as the president’s adviser. He was also member of the National Commission of Investigation on Corruption founded in 2011.