Tunisian parliament approves secular-Islamist coalition government

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 05, 2015 7:52 AM

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TUNIS, 5 (Reuters) - Tunisia's parliament approved a coalition cabinet on Thursday including secularists, Islamists and smaller parties, in the latest step in its transition to full democracy following a 2011 uprising.

The cabinet headed by Prime Minister Habib Essid, which includes members of the secularist Nidaa Tounes and the Islamist party Ennahda party, was approved by 166 members of the 217-seat parliament.

Essid's new government will have to push through tough economic reforms demanded by Tunisia's international lenders and continue a campaign against Islamist militants. ?????

"Our priority will be to strengthen measures to combat extremism and strengthen security capabilities to confront terrorism and the protection of the democratic transition," Essid said in parliament.???? ????Four years after its uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, Tunisia has been held up as an example of political compromise and democratic transition.

It held its first free elections last year after approving a new constitution.

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(Reporting By Tarek Amara; Editing by Dominic Evans)