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Tunisia new gov’t faces opposition from Islamists

By Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters) – Tunisia’s Islamist party Ennahda, which holds the second largest number of seats in parliament, said on Sunday it would reject a government proposed last week by Prime Minister designate Habib Essid, complicating his cabinet’s ratification. Parliament will vote this week to confirm the new government that must tackle economic reforms and Islamist militants to consolidate Tunisia’s young democracy after its 2011 uprising against autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali. Essid has proposed a cabinet formed from the main secular Nidaa Tounes party and smaller partners, but no posts went to the two other main blocks in the parliament, Ennahda and the leftist Popular Front. One of the most secular countries in the Arab world, Tunisia has been praised for its peaceful democratic transition in an otherwise volatile region, with free elections and a new constitution four years after Ben Ali’s overthrow.

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