Jemli government: divided opinions in parliament
03/01/2020 19:19, TUNIS/Tunisia

(TAP) - Following Thursday's much-awaited announcement of the new government line-up proposed by Prime Minister-designate Habib Jemli, the reactions and opinions were divided.

Contacted on Friday by TAP, some MPs felt that the composition proposed by Jemli had good profiles and others felt that it left more than one question mark, making the vote of confidence a difficult decision to make.

Hssouna Nasfi, president of the National Reform group (15 MPs) said his bloc will meet today to decide. The PM-designate pledged to form a team independent of political parties and composed of people of integrity, he said, adding that only practice can verify this.

For Nasfi, some of the names on the new team's list raise questions about their independence and competence.

The MP, who does not rule out the possibility of making changes to the list, considers any change targeting members who are subject to reservations, after 45 days of consultations, to be nonsensical.

For the National Reform group, the composition proposed by the PM-desgnate is "unsatisfactory", which makes his position ambiguous.

For his part, Abdellatif Aloui, deputy of the Al Karama Coalition group (21 elected members) describes the proposed composition as "a mending government". The criteria set by Jemli are no longer in his favour. For he should have chosen from among the partisan skills, in addition to independent personalities.

A priori, Al Karama group will not vote for the Jemli government, he said, not denying the existence of a small minority within the bloc that prefers to place its trust in the new government team so as not to waste any more time.

He indicated that the reservations of Al Karama bloc concern Minister of Tourism René Trabelsi, Minister of Planning and International Cooperation Fadhel Abdelkefi, Secretary of State to the Minister of Health Maha Issaoui and Secretary of State for Economic Diplomacy and Tunisians Abroad Sana Skhiri.

Regarding the turmoil raised by some of the names proposed in Jemli's government team, Belgacem Hassen (Ennahdha, 54 seats) said that the assessment of the government team is done downstream of its action and not upstream.

"All personalities can be subject to criticism and false allegations or proven accusations, but judgment and evaluation must be based on the work done and not in reference to his name," said the Ennahdha member.

He added that Ennahdha movement has worked to have the government composed of partisan competencies, but given the failure of this option after long negotiations, Jemli opted for a government of partisan competencies.

He specified that the choice decided by the PM-designate was not Ennahdha's.

According to him, it is Ennahdha's responsibility to place its trust in the government since it is this party that chose Habib Jemli. The Shura Council will meet this Saturday to decide.

In turn, spokesman of Al Mustakbal bloc, (9 deputies) Issam Bargougui said in a statement to TAP that "the line-up of the government proposed by Jemli does not reflect the popular will and clearly enshrines partisan calculations".

"Our bloc will only vote in favour of the government if we make the necessary corrections to its composition, with the imperative to involve all political parties," said Bargougui.

For his part, Iyadh Elloumi, leader of Qalb Tounes party, announced Thursday evening at a press conference that the party's National Council (38 deputies) will be held next Sunday to define the party's position regarding the vote of confidence in the proposed government.

"The party will not only consider the names proposed for the next government, but also their programmes," he said, adding that poverty eradication is one of Qalb Tounes' priorities.

Referring to the composition of the Jemli government (28 ministers and 14 secretaries of state), Elloumi stressed the existence of "real competencies within the composition of the government", adding that "no particular political orientation emerges from this composition".

For his part, Zouhaier Maghzaoui, a deputy from the Echaâb movement, told TAP on Friday that the democratic bloc, comprising 41 deputies from the Echaâb movement and the Democratic Movement as well as independents, has decided not to give its confidence to the proposed government.

"What has been described as a competent government is basically the government of Ennahdha movement and Qalb Tounes party," he said, saying Ennahdha "aspires to a government of partisan quotas, devoid of any political vision or programme".

Mabrouk Korchid, deputy of the Tahya Tounes movement, told the press on Thursday that the party (14 deputies) will not vote confidence in the Habib Jemli government, saying the proposed composition "is only a government of Ennahdha and the PM-designate should tell the truth to the Tunisian people".

The Free Destorian Party (PDL), which has 17 deputies, had on several occasions expressed its decision in principle not to vote confidence in the proposed government "as long as it is an Ennahdha government".

Habib Jemli had announced, on Thursday, the composition of the government which is composed of 28 ministers and 14 secretaries of state.

President Kais Saied had signed a message addressed to Speaker of the House of People's Representatives (HPR), Rached Ghannouchi, after receiving the list of the government team proposed, on Wednesday, by the PM-designate Habib Jemli.

According to Article 89 of the Constitution, the composition of the proposed government must obtain an absolute majority in parliament, at least 109 votes.

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