The parliament voted 134 to 67 to approve the new cabinet of Prime Minister-designate Hichem Mechichi on Wednesday following a debate throughout Tuesday.
The formation of a cabinet was the third try since last October’s parliamentary polls. Lawmakers had rejected one proposed cabinet back in January, and a second administration resigned in July after less than five months in office.
“The government formation comes at a time [when] political instability and the people’s patience has reached its limit,” Mechichi said at the outset of the Tuesday debate.
“Our priority will be to address the economic and social situation… stop the bleeding of public finances, start talks with lenders, and begin reform programs, including for public companies and subsidies,” he said.
Under his plan to overhaul the economy, the Tunisian prime minister blended the ministries of finance, investment, and economy into a single department led by liberal economist Ali Kooli, who also serves as chief executive of the Arab Banking Corporation (ABC Bank) in Tunisia.
Tunisian President Kais Saied appointed the then-Interior Minister Mechichi as the new prime minister in July to form a new government and bring to end months of political deadlock in the North African country.