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Tunisia's interim government appointed a civil rights activist and lawyer as new junior interior minister on Friday as part of a shakeup amid worries of a power vacuum ahead of elections.
State news agency TAP said Lazhar Akermi was appointed as junior minister charged with instituting reforms. Four cabinet ministers were also replaced in a reshuffle.
A popular uprising toppled President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali this year, unleashing pro-democracy movements across North Africa and the Middle East.
But analysts fear a political and security vacuum ahead of October elections for an assembly to write a new constitution. This vote was delayed from July, and parliamentary and presidential elections are not expected until next year.
The interior ministry says suspected al-Qaeda militants opened fire on security forces in May in north Tunisia, killing four people, while three of the nine assailants were shot dead.
In June tribal clashes broke out in one town, security forces clashed with police in a protest, and Islamists attacked a Tunis cinema for showing a film deemed as promoting atheism.
"The government is now convinced of the need for some reforms in security apparatus and the message is that reform is needed from outside," commentator Salah Attia told Reuters in response to Akermi's appointment.
"But will the security apparatus accept someone from outside the institution? That's the question," said Attia, who writes in the daily Assabah newspaper.
In March interim President Fouad Mebazza appointed a new interior minister, Habib Sid, a former junior interior minister under Ben Ali, who ruled Tunisia with tough security policies for 23 years.
TAP named Salem Miladi as the new transport minister, Slim Chaker as youth and sports minister, Slaheddine Sellami as health minister and Mohamed Ridha Fares as amenities minister.
It gave few initial details of their backgrounds.
Youth activists welcomed the new youth and sports minister on the online network Twitter as bringing new blood to the ministry.