Prime Minister Habib Essid will be questioned by the Assembly of the Representatives of the People (ARP) on Wednesday January 26, according to ARP spokesman Hassen Fathalli. Essid will discuss changes to the five year economic development plan, educational reforms and a proposed series of laws amending the penal code.
Yesterday, Essid shuttled between the Pime Minister’s office at the Kasbah and the Presidential Palace in Carthage.
In Carthage Essid attended a National Security Council meeting in Carthage presided over by President Beji Caid Essebsi and attended by Defense Minister Farhat Horchani, Interior Minister Hedi Majdoub, ARP Speaker Mohamed Ennanceur as well as representatives from the various branches of Tunisia’s security forces to discuss the security situation following a week of protests coupled with unrest. Within hours of that meeting the Ministry of the Interior announced the curfew in effect throughout Tunisia would be eased by two hours.
At the Prime Minister’s Kasbah office Essid met with representatives from the four parties of the government’s ruling coalition.
Nidaa Tounes sent a delegation which included Ridha Belhaj, Khemaies Ksila and Hafedh Caied Essebsi.
President of Ennahdha movement Rached Ghannouchi, the President of Ennahda.
Slim Riahi, President of the Free Patriotic Union (UPL) and Riadh Mouakher and Mohamed Louzir of Afek Tounes.
Essid then received Popular Front, which has been vocally active in the protests butis not in the ruling coalition, members Hamma Hammami, Zied Lakhdar, Zouhair Hamdi and Nizar Amami.
In statement from the office of the Prime Minister said “These meetings were an occasion for the Prime Minister to listen to the opinions and proposals expressed by these parties on current files and means to boost the pace of development and employment notably in the regions targeted by positive discrimination”
Other than calls for ‘dialogue’ on the economic situation there were few details of the discussions.
The Ministry of Vocational Training and Employment cites Tunisia’s overall unemployment rate for 2014 as 15% against a rate of 15.3% in 2013, and 16.7% in 2012. Youth unemployment stands in excess of 30% nationally and higher in certain regions, particularly the interior governorates of Sidi Bouzid and Kasserine.