Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh abruptly resigns

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Fakhfakh was appointed Prime Minister by President Kais Saied in January following last year’s general elections which ended without a clear winner and with a fractured parliament.

Fakhfakh’s resignation came as a campaign to oust him in a vote of no confidence which gained momentum. The moderate Islamist opposition party, Ennahda, said in a Facebook statement on Wednesday that it had presented the censure motion to parliament.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the Fakhfakh resignation was aimed at preventing more political conflicts.

“The decision was taken in the national interest and in order to avoid further conflict between the state institutions of the country and to respect the principle of moralization of political life,” the office said in a statement.

According to Reuters, Fakhfakh has been accused of a conflict of interest by owning shares in companies that had received state contracts. He denies the accusations of wrongdoing.

According to media reports, Fakhfakh said he hoped his resignation would open “a new way out of the crisis” for the president.

The Tunisian demonstrations that started in December 2010 gave way to the enlarged Arab Spring the following year. The country is often celebrated as the only success to emerge from the regional movement, although its transition to democracy has been precarious.

Several governments have failed to revitalize the economy and fight unemployment, while the coronavirus pandemic has worsened the situation, leaving the country to rely on a loan from the International Monetary Fund.

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