Tunisia’s new unity government sworn in

Tunisia’s new unity government sworn in
26 ministers, 14 secretaries of state make up administration

Tunisia’s new unity government of Prime Minister Youssef Chahed was sworn in Saturday before President Beji Caid Essebsi, his office said in a statement.

The ceremony came a day after the government, composed of 26 ministers and 14 secretaries of state, received parliamentary approval.

Chahed was tasked with drawing up a new government earlier this month after parliament withdrew confidence from former Prime Minister Habib Essid’s Cabinet.

An ally of Essebsi, Chahed, 40, is the youngest prime minister in Tunisia’s history.

Addressing parliament on Friday

, he warned that an austerity program, with public-sector job cuts

, would be inevitable if Tunisia does not overcome its economic difficulties.

Chahed helped found Tunisia’s Tareeq al-Wasat, or Middle Way, party in the summer of 2011. The party was later merged with the centrist Nidaa Tounes party, which has led the government since 2014.

Tunisia was the birthplace of the Arab Spring uprisings that swept the Middle East and North Africa in 2011 and forced several autocrat leaders out of power, including Tunisia’s Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.