In the wake of massive popular protests and sharp political disputes, Tunisian Prime Minister Hicham El Mechichi managed to win the confidence of Parliament.
The Assembly of the Representatives of the People of Tunisia approved Tuesday the cabinet reshuffle, with a comfortable majority, amounting to 140 votes for a minister.
Representatives of the Heart of Tunisia party, Ennahda, and the Dignity Coalition voted ‘yes’ for the reshuffle.
On the other hand, the Democratic Bloc, the Free Constitutional Party, and several independent MPs opposed it.
The reshuffle included the appointment of the Secretary-General of the government, Walid al-Dhahabi, at the head of the Ministry of the Interior, to succeed the lawyer, Tawfiq Sharaf al-Din, who is affiliated with President Kais Saied.
Mechichi also suggested replacing the Minister of Environment, Mustafa Al-Arawi, with Shehab bin Ahmed, the Director-General of the Export Promotion Center.
The cabinet reshuffle also included the appointment of the Director-General of Customs, Youssef Zouaghi, to head the Ministry of Justice.
He also chose the former dean of the Faculty of Medicine in Sousse El-Hadi Khairi as Minister of Health.
President Saied openly declared his dissatisfaction with that reshuffle and even pledged not to allow ministers who are suspected of taking the constitutional oath.
The urgent question remains: Can Saied abort the Mechichi’s government?
That question raises a wide constitutional debate between those who speak of a “constitutional breach” through which Saied can abort the reshuffle, and those who see that the system of government in Tunisia is primarily parliamentary, and thus the prime minister has the ability to overcome the objections of the president.
It is only certain that the differences between the major state institutions may not help to resolve the country’s accumulated crises.