Top Tunisian ministers fired after new president elected

U.S. & World

Newly elected Tunisian President Kais Saied speaks during his swearing in ceremony, in Tunis, Wednesday Oct.23, 2019. Tunisians elected former law professor Kais Saied as president earlier this month to replace President Beji Caid Essebsi, who died in July. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)

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TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia’s prime minister has fired the foreign and defense ministers, two weeks after Kais Saied was elected the new president of the North African country.

According to a statement from the government presidency Tuesday, Defense Minister Abdelkarim Zbidi and Foreign Minister Khemaies Jhinaoui were dismissed by Prime Minister Youssef Chahed.

The two ministers were seen as being close to former President Beji Caid Essebsi, who died in July. Saied and Essebsi didn’t see eye to eye politically.

Economic Diplomacy Minister Hatem Ferjani was also fired.

Intense negotiations are currently taking place for the formation of a new government.

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This story has been corrected to show that the Beji Caid Essebsi died in July, not June.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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