Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh officially assumed his mission on Friday as he plans to tackle urgent economic and social problems, such as unemployment.

Fakhfakh took over from ex-PM Youssef Chahed at a ceremony held at Dar Dhiafa in Carthage in the presence of the new ministers, Parliament Speaker Rached Ghannouchi and the representatives of national associations and political parties.

Tunisia’s new government was sworn on Thursday after winning a parliamentary confidence vote that broke four months of deadlock.

Thirty ministers and two secretaries of state were sworn-in by President Kais Saied over a month after Fakhfakh was designated premier.

In his speech at Friday’s handover ceremony, Chahed lauded the peaceful transition of power and the democratic atmosphere prevailing in Tunisia.

“We should join hands to overcome the economically and socially difficult situation,” he said.

Chahed said he was leaving his position with a “guilt-free conscience after having served the country.”

He stressed, however, that some parties had launched campaigns to tarnish his image because he had fought corruption.

“The country will not move forward without reforms, and when reforms begin, each party concerned will resist and say no. After that, everyone will ask ‘where are the reforms’,” Chahed told Fakhfakh.

However, “the fight against corruption is necessary,” he said.

Fakhfakh, in his turn, urged Tunisians to support the country’s political stability, and called for cooperation to salvage Tunisia.

According to several observers, the new government should tackle unemployment, bring in investments and revive the economy.



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