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Tunisian PM names new cabinet
Beji Caid Sebsi appoints new caretaker government following a string of resignations.
Last Modified: 07 Mar 2011 15:50 GMT

The Tunisian revolution has provided the inspiration for uprisings in other parts of the Arab world [Reuters]

Tunisia's interim prime minister has named a new government following a number of resignations that has revived questions about the country's post-revolution direction.

Beji Caid Sebsi has kept the heads of the crucial defence, interior, justice and foreign-affairs ministries in their posts.

But he named new figures to six posts vacated last week by ministers apparently trying to distance themselves from the caretaker government, seen by some as too close to the regime of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Monday's announcement is the latest step by interim authorities to restore stability after weeks of protests drove out Ben Ali in January, sparking revolts around the Arab world.

Sebsi, 84, himself was named just a week ago after his predecessor quit amid renewed protest violence.

Read more of our Tunisia coverage

Al Jazeera's Nazanine Moshiri, reporting from Tunis, said the cabinet is "being billed as the new government but there is not much new about it because the key posts remain the same".

The prime minister's website said on Monday that the new appointments had been approved by the interim president.

Sebsi had said on Friday that he would present a new cabinet to help pull his country back from the "abyss".

Two previous caretaker administrations collapsed as they included members regarded by demonstrators as being too close to Ben Ali's old guard, such as former interim prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi.

The members of the new cabinet will not be allowed to be candidates in future elections.

By unveiling a new team entirely made up of technocrats rather than career politicians, Sebsi is seeking to assert his authority and see through a delicate transition in which Tunisians will elect a constituent assembly on July 24 to rewrite the constitution.

Sebsi said his priorities would be re-establishing security, rebuilding Tunisia's suddenly troubled economy, and bringing life back to normal in the country that has long been a popular tourist destination.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
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