New Tunisia Government Faces Confidence Vote Tuesday

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Tunisia's National Constituent Assembly (ANC) will vote on Tuesday on whether to approve the new government line-up unveiled by Islamist premier-designate Ali Larayedh, parliamentary spokeswoman Karima Souid said on Saturday.

"On Tuesday, vote of confidence in the ANC on the new government," Souid said on her Facebook page.

On Monday, the assembly's agenda must also be approved, she added, with dates then to be set for a vote on the new constitution, whose drafting has been deadlocked for months, and for parliamentary and presidential elections.

Several political timetables drawn up since Islamist party Ennahda's sweeping election victory in 2011, after the revolution that toppled ex-dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, have not been respected.

Larayedh, the outgoing interior minister who was tapped to form a new government last month, amid a political crisis triggered by the February 6 assassination of leftist leader Chokri Belaid, announced his line-up on Friday.

He said the new cabinet, in which key portfolios were entrusted to little known independent candidates, in a clear concession by the Islamists, would step down at the end of the year after elections are held.

The remaining portfolios were given to Larayedh's Ennahda party and its two secular partners from the outgoing coalition, which together control 109 out of 217 seats in the national assembly, enough to ensure a vote of confidence.

But this support is far from enough to steer Tunisia from the worst crisis since Beni Ali's regime fell in January 2011, and to ensure support for the much-delayed new constitution.

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