New PM urges Tunisians to support 'political stability'

TUNIS – New Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid said Friday that the country had "no choice but to work, support political stability, and undertake major development projects to foster national prosperity."

Essid's comments came at an official ceremony held in northern Tunis to mark the handover of power from the outgoing government of former Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, an Anadolu Agency correspondent reported.

"The handover of power in this fashion is Tunisia's feature… Tunisians ought to be proud of having gone from having temporary to having permanent institutions," Essid said.

"Tunisia is heading towards an important phase of its new course, which will see the completion of democracy- building, the enactment of laws, setting new courses of development, and addressing inequalities," he added.

Former PM Jomaa, for his part, called for "supporting the new government and all stakeholders in order to improve the country, which could be the hope for the entire region."

Earlier Friday, Essid's government was sworn-in in the presence of President Beji Caid Essebsi in the presidential palace.

In Tunisia's 217-seat parliament, Essid's secular Nidaa Tounes party holds 86 seats, while the Islamist Ennahda movement holds 69. The Popular Front and Afek Tounes parties hold 15 and eight seats respectively.

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