New Tunisian government approved, must fix economy

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia’s Parliament has approved 41-year-old Youssef Chahed as prime minister along with a new government focused on turning around the economy and fighting terrorism.

Chahed’s Cabinet confirmed late Friday on a vote 167-22 with five abstentions. The government has more women and younger politicians in its mix, but retains previous ministers in the key posts of defense, interior and foreign affairs.

Chahed, of the president’s Nida Tounes party, was named after the previous government fell last month. Since its 2011 revolution, Tunisia has struggled with soaring unemployment and slumping tourism revenues, especially after Islamic extremist attacks last year killed some 60 people.

Reducing deficits will be a major challenge for the new government.

Chahed, speaking to lawmakers, called for national unity after a rocky transition to democracy.