Tunisia anxiously awaits new cabinet: Will Jomaa succeed after failure?
TUNIS - Tunisia's prime minister-designate will unveil his cabinet lineup Sunday, the presidency said, a day after he missed a deadline to form a government of independents to steer the country out of crisis.
"Mehdi Jomaa... will submit the list of his government to President Moncef Marzouki at 1800 (1700 GMT)," a presidential statement said, inviting the media to attend the ceremony.
Jomaa had been expected to submit his lineup to Marzouki on Saturday afternoon but shortly after midnight he announced his failure to form a new government.
"The president has once again placed his trust in me and tasked me with forming the government," within 15 days as laid down by Tunisian law, said Jomaa before the presidency's announcement.
"We have taken a big step towards forming the government. It is almost ready and, inshallah (God willing), I will not take much time in submitting the lineup to the president," he said on state television.
The technocrat premier, tapped last month to steer Tunisia towards fresh elections, had said after missing Saturday's deadline that he had failed to reach a consensus on forming a new caretaker cabinet.
His remarks Saturday were the latest sign that Tunisia's political class remains deeply divided, since the assassinations last year of two prominent opposition politicians plunged the country into disarray.
Jomaa, an industry minister in the outgoing government led by the Islamist Ennahda party, faces a huge challenges as the murders were blamed on suspected jihadists, amid mounting violence since the 2011 uprising that toppled the regime of veteran strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
Under Tunisian law, Jomaa's team must win a vote of confidence in parliament.
Tunisia media said his failure to meet Saturday's deadline was mainly due to the identity of the future interior minister.
Some opposition groups want incumbent minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou removed because he served in the Ennahda government.
But others, not only Ennahda supporters, argue that a volatile security situation across the North African country means that continuity is needed at the interior ministry.
The latest developments come as Tunisia's 217-seat interim parliament, in which Ennahda holds the majority, is due to approve on Sunday a much-delayed constitution.
The vote, initially announced for Saturday, was pushed back until Sunday to allow lawmakers to reform the rules of a confidence vote in a new government.