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Associated Press

New Tunisian government approved by parliament

The Tunisian parliament gave the new government a vote of confidence (Anadolu)

Date of publication: 5 February, 2015

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Prime Minister Habib Essid's cabinet gets vote of confidence from the Tunisia's lawmakers.

Tunisia's parliament on Thursday overwhelmingly approved the country's first full-term post-revolutionary government.

Prime Minister Habib Essid, whose cabinet has ministers from four parties - including the powerful Islamists - promised "work and nothing but work" on the country's economic and security problems.

In the four years since Tunisians overthrew their longtime dictator, the country has been ruled by a string of interim governments, some of them Islamist, that haven't succeeded in bringing the jobs and economic growth needed.

There have also been attacks by armed groups that have killed two politicians and left many members of the security forces dead.

"With this vote of confidence, Tunisia enters today a new stage to build a new Tunisia," said parliament speaker Mohammed Ennaceur.

A new constitution, parliamentary and presidential elections in 2014 have finally brought the transition to a close and a new nationalist party, Nidaa Tounes, which was elected largely for its opposition to the Islamists, has come to power.

The party cannot rule alone, however, and an initial attempt by Essid to propose a government with just one other party in the coalition was quickly scrapped when they realised they didn't have the votes.

Instead, the Islamist Ennahdha party was given a token ministry, the ministry of vocational training - despite being the second largest party in the coalition - to ensure its support.

The prime minister presented his programme to parliament on Wednesday, with a series of urgent measures to be taken in the first hundred days, mainly to create jobs with infrastructure projects and reforms to attract investment.

Alone among the countries affected by the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings, Tunisia's transition to democracy has remained on track and is being closely watched throughout the region.

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