David Short
New ministers in Tunisian government of national unity - 28 January 2011
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Farhat Rajhi - Minister of the Interior

Born 1952.  More civil servant and functionary than politician.  Lawyer, magistrate and inspector of judicial
services at the Ministry of Justice, and has served in the Appeal Courts in Monastir, Bizerte, and Nabeul.

Ahmed Ounaies - Minister for Foreign Affairs

Another functionary.  A 74-year-old veteran civil servant and diplomat, educated in Geneva.  Service abroad with
the Tunisian foreign ministry includes Paris, New Delhi, the United Nations, and was ambassador to Moscow in
the 1980s.

Abdelkrim Zbidi - National Defence Minister

Born 1950.  Medical doctor by profession, has undertaken government service in fields of scientific research.  
Former public health minister (2001) and former minister for scientific research and technology.(2002).  Author of
numerous scientific and medical papers.

Jalloul Ayed - Finance Minister

Born 1951.International banking experience.  Economics graduate of Tunis university and holds Master's in
Economics from University of Maryland.  Former international bank executive with Citicorp/Citibank  United
Arab Emirates Corporate Bank and BMCE Group (Moroccan Bank for External Commerce). Specialist in
corporate finance, offshore funds and capital development.  Former honorary president of American Chamber of
Commerce in Morocco.

Mohamed Ennaceur - Social Affairs Minister

76-year-old public service veteran.  Educated in Tunis and at the Sorbonne.  Former minister for labour and
minister for social affairs during the 1970s and 1980s.  Experience includes United Nations: between 1991 and 1996
was head of Tunisia's permanent mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

Habiba Ezzahi Ben Romdhane - Public Health Minister

Born 1950.  Medical doctor, educated in Tunis, Laval University, Chicago University and University of Tokyo.  
Professor of Preventative Medicine in Tunis's Faculty of Medicine, and expert advisor to the World Health

Also human rights activist - she was a founding member of the Tunisian branch of Amnesty International, and the  
Tunisian association for democratic women.

Yassine Ibrahim - Transport Minister

Franco-Tunisian, born 1966, educated in Paris.  Banking executive specialising in how capital markets work and
information technology.  Has worked for Societe Generale and Cap Gemini.  Prior to ministerial appointment, was
head of global trading at financial institution, Sungard.

Ezzeddine Bach Chaouch - Culture Minister

71-year-old archaeologist and university professor.

Lilia Laabidi - Minister for Women's Affairs

Born 1949, holds doctorates in psychology and anthropology.  Author of numerous books, articles and papers on
women's rights, sexuality and gender-based violence.  

Mehdi Houas - Minister for Tourism and Commerce

Born 1959 in Marseilles.  Engineer, telecommunications and information technology expert,  educated in Paris.
Human rights activist from inception of Tunisian League for Human Rights.

Elyes Jouini - Office of the Prime Minister

Born 1965.  Economist and actuary, educated at the Sorbonne.  Former academic at Paris-Dauphine University, and
former executive at Banque de Tunisie.
After continuing protests about the presence of ministers from the Ben Ali regime in the new unity
government, prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announced a purge of ministers in key ministries
such as defence, the interior and foreign affairs.

He announced a raft of new appointees with relatively clean hands, typically former functionaries with
legal, diplomatic or technical backgrounds.  Ghannouchi also repeated a pledge to hold free and fair
presidential and legislative elections within six months, after which he himself would retire from politics.