Tunisia's Prime Minister Youssef Chahed declares cabinet reshuffle

Tunisian Prime minister Youssef Chahed (R) heads a council of ministers meeting with his cabinet in Tunis on December 30, 2016. (Photo by AFP)
Tunisia's Prime Minister Youssef Chahed on Wednesday named a new cabinet, including the newly created post of economic reforms minister, after reaching a deal with political parties following weeks of infighting over posts, the government said.
A compromise over the cabinet should give Chahed, in power for just over a year, initiative to push ahead with tough public wage bill reforms and a pension system overhaul meant to improve Tunisia's public spending and deficits in line with IMF demands.
Chahed appointed Ridha Chalgoum, a former finance minister close to ruling Nidaa Tounes party, as finance minister, and Lotfi Braham, another Nidaa Tounes ally, as interior minister, according to a statement from the premier's office.
Chahed named one of his economic advisors, Taoufik Rajhi, who is a member of Islamist Ennahda party, to the new post of economic reforms minister, the statement said.
Six years since its 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia has been held up as a model after avoiding the violence that troubled other nations after their "Arab Spring" revolts. But successive governments have struggled to enact economic reforms amid political infighting.

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