The Tunisian presidency announced on Monday evening January 30 the dismissal of the ministers of Agriculture and Education, without giving explanations, in a context of shortages of basic products, including milk, and sporadic strikes in the 'education.
President Kais Saied has decided
"a partial reshuffle by appointing Mohamed Ali Boughdiri as Minister of Education"
to replace Fethi Sellaouti, announced a press release from the presidency.
Agriculture Minister Elyes Hamza has been replaced by Abdelmomen Belati, the presidency added.
In early January, the president had already dismissed Trade Minister Fadhila Rebhi Ben Hamza and Fakher Fakhfakh, the governor of Sfax, the country's second city, mired for months in a crisis over the management of its waste.
The Minister of Commerce was the first member of Najla Bouden's government, formed in November 2021, to be dismissed by President Saïed.
Inflation above 10%
The two new dismissals come in a context of political tensions, the country being in the grip of deep divisions since the coup by President Saïed who assumed all powers in July 2021. They immediately follow a second round of legislative elections on Sunday marked by a record abstention rate with only 11.4% participation, which many experts have explained by a lack of interest from a population focused on its economic problems.
Tunisia is shaken by a financial crisis which has resulted in recent months in shortages of many basic products (milk, sugar, rice, coffee, etc.) and a decline in purchasing power due to inflation. greater than 10%.
On the verge of asphyxiation because of a debt of around 80% of GDP, the country managed in mid-October to obtain an agreement in principle from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new loan of 1.9 billion dollars but is still awaiting final approval.
The country has also been agitated in recent months by several strikes in transport and in national education, for the payment of bonuses and salary arrears or the regularization of precarious contracts.