Tunisian Prime Minister Elyes Fakhfakh stepped down on Wednesday, plunging the country into a political crisis as it tries to weather the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
Fakhfakh presented his resignation to President Kais Saied, a government statement said.
Saied must now choose a new candidate for prime minister, but parliament is deeply fragmented among rival parties and a failure to build another coalition would trigger an election.
The collapse of Fakhfakh’s government less than five months after it was formed will further delay urgent economic reforms and complicate efforts to handle any new surge in coronavirus cases after Tunisia brought a first wave under control.
Western countries have hailed Tunisia for its comparatively successful transition to democracy since the 2011 revolution that ended decades of autocratic rule despite periodic crises, but many Tunisians are deeply frustrated.
Since the revolution, the economy has stagnated, living standards have declined and public services have decayed while political parties often seemed more focused on staying in office than addressing a long list of problems.