(FILES) A picture taken on December 18, 2013, in Tunis shows newly appointed Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa waiting for a meeting at the Tunisian Constituent Assembly. AFP PHOTO / FETHI BELAID
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Tunisia's new premier Mehdi Jomaa took office on Friday to lead a caretaker government until elections later this year after the ruling Islamist party's premier resigned in a deal to complete its steps to democracy.Jomaa, a former industry minister, will head a non-partisan cabinet after compromise between the Islamists and secular opponents to end a crisis three years after Tunisia's uprising against autocrat Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. One of the hardline Islamist movements to emerge after the 2011 revolt, Ansar al-Sharia in Tunisia was declared illegal last year after the government blamed it for killing two opposition politicians.Tunisia said this week it expected it had done enough -- in its political transition and economic measures to control the deficit -- to ensure payment of a second $500 million tranche of its $1.5 billion IMF loan.
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