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Chahed says will support Caïd Essebsi if he seeks new term

Published the:  02/01/2018

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(TAP)- Premier Youssef Chahed said he will support President Béji Caïd Essebsi if he runs for another term.

"If Caid Essebsi stands in the next presidential elections, I will support him," he said in an interview on "Kahwa Arbi" show that aired on Monday evening on Wataniya 1 tv channel.

"Béji Caid Essebsi offered me the opportunity to serve Tunisia for he believes young people should have access to opportunities; I can by no means be a contender," he said.

"I believe in his project which rests on the civic dimension of the state and is a continuation of the national movement," Chahed highlighted.

The economic situation was vulnerable in 2017 but indicators are expected to improve in 2019, the Premier indicated. Tunisia targets a growth rate of 3% in 2018 and 5% by 2020.

The overhaul push for 2018 has two main features. It will pursue large-scale reforms started in 2017 in connection to civil service and social funds and will seek to keep on delivering a boost to drivers of sustainable development, notably after the resumption of phosphate production and the recovery of tourism and agriculture.

Employment will also be a focal point, particularly as far as young people are concerned, along with entrepreneurship, said Youssef Chahed. There is willingness to involve youth in decision-making and develop a new generation that participates in political life "drawing on the policy of Caid Essebsi who placed his trust in me and picked me to head the government."

Political stability and a sound political climate need to be established to iron out obstacles and secure the success of the government's agenda by 2020, said the Prime Minister. Political parties and civil society are urged to "promote their discourse, avoid political tension and turn their attention to the concerns of Tunisians."

A stable governmental process is highly needed, hence the importance of avoiding shakeups, Chahed underlined.

The war on corruption should be part of a comprehensive mechanism geared towards protecting the national economy and bolstering Tunisia's political experience, the PM noted. Strengthening the judicial system is one pillar which found expression in the setting up of twelve regional administrative courts and the improvement of the situation of judges.

In another connection, Youssef Chahed said his government is fully prepared for municipal elections which will pave the way for decentralisation and grassroots democracy. Decentralisation will help achieve a step change in local development as part of the unity of the State, he further said.

The efforts made by law enforcement forces and the army are laudable, the Prime Minister said. Roughly 450,000 police officers and servicemen deployed to ensure the security of Tunisians and thousands of tourists during New Year festivities.