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Tunisia Islamists predict new Cabinet by weekend

AP News
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Posted: Dec 14, 2011 9:04 AM
Tunisia Islamists predict new Cabinet by weekend

The Islamist party charged with forming Tunisia's new government has promised to complete the job by the end of the week to meet the country's crises, an official said Wednesday.

Tunisia's president, himself just elected, appointed Hamadi Jebali, the secretary-general of Ennahda Party which dominated October's elections, to form the interim government.

Under the new system, executive power will be centered on the prime minister who has three weeks to present his choices for the assembly's approval.

Samir Dilou, a leading member of the party, said he expected that period to be substantially shortened, perhaps even by week's end so that urgent economic issues can be tackled.

For now, the outgoing interim government formed after President Zine Abidine Ben Ali fled, will manage the affairs of state. Tunisians overthrew Ben Ali in January, sparking pro-democracy protests across the Arab world.

A long repressed moderate Islamist party then won the most seats in October's election for an assembly to form an interim government and write the new constitution.

Ennahda has formed a ruling coalition with the liberal Congress for the Republic and the left of center Ettakatol, or Forum Party.

The assembly elected veteran right activist Moncef Marzouki president Monday.