Tunisian government loses confidence vote in parliament

The Tunisian Parliament voted late Saturday for withdrawing confidence from the government of Prime Minister Habib Essid, clearing the way for forming a unity cabinet.

Some 118 lawmakers voted for the no-confidence motion, against three with 27 abstentions.

Last month, President Beji Caid Essebsi called for forming a national unity government to revitalize Tunisia's economy, which has been battered by militant attacks.

Essid, who took office in early 2015, resisted the proposal and insisted on going to parliament to decide his government's fate.

Saturday's vote comes as no surprise. In recent weeks, key partners in the ruling coalition said they would back the no-confidence vote against Essid.

Earlier Saturday, Essid, a 67-year-old technocrat, told the legislature he was not keen on retaining premiership.

Tunisia is widely seen as the sole democratic success story of the 2010-11 Arab Spring uprisings.

The North African country has seen a string of deadly attacks in recent months. Most of the attacks were claimed by the Islamic State extremist militia. The violence has taken a toll on tourism, a main source of Tunisia's income.

Last update: Sun, 31/07/2016 - 00:57

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