New Tunisian leaders announce government plan



New Tunisian leaders announce government plan Tunis: The main winners of Tunisia's elections announced late Monday the shape of the country's interim government ahead of the first meeting of its newly-elected assembly.

Tunisians on October 25 elected a body to write a new Constitution nine months after they overthrew their dictator in a popular uprising.

As the country that set off the wave of pro-democracy movements that engulfed the Arab region, Tunisia's efforts to build a democracy are being closely watched around the world.

The Islamist Ennahda Party won the most seats and partnered with the liberal Congress for the Republic and the left-of-centre Ettakatol Party to form a ruling coalition and divide up the top posts between them.

Ennahda will take the powerful prime minister's position while veteran rights activist Moncef Marzouki will become the interim president.

Mustapha Ben Jaafar of the Ettakatol will head the assembly, which has a year to write the Constitution before new elections are held.

The three leaders did not elaborate on who would fill the remaining government posts but said that they would also go to prominent figures of civil society in addition to members their parties.

A number of ministers from the outgoing transitional government will also appear in the government.

The plan for the new government will be presented on Tuesday to the inaugural meeting of the new council, which will first vote on the new president, who will then appoint the prime minister and ask him to form a government.

The coalition holds a comfortable majority of 139 seats in the 217-member body.

The North African country of 10 million has been essentially a one-party state in the half-century since it won its independence from France.

In a month-long uprising, Tunisians overthrew president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, inspiring similar movements across the Middle East.

Bureau Report