Tunisia threatened by 'terrorism': new PM

Tunisia's new prime minister, Ali Larayedh, told AFP on Wednesday that the country whose revolution sparked the Arab Spring uprisings was threatened by both "terrorism" and social unrest.

"The main danger to national security is terrorism, whether it comes from abroad or from inside the country," he said.

"By terrorism, I mean an organised group that uses violence and arms against individuals or to seize power."

The Islamist premier spoke to AFP after he and his cabinet were sworn in by President Moncef Marzouki, with MPs having approved the new team in a vote overshadowed by the death of an impoverished street vendor who set himself alight on Tuesday.

Tunisia since the 2011 revolution has seen the rise of extremist Islamist groups blamed by the authorities for an attack last September on the US embassy and for the murder of leftist politician Chokri Belaid.

Larayedh said another threat to the country's future was "social violence fed by politics," as unemployment and other social ills sparked demonstrations that have often turned violent or been brutally suppressed.

Economic and social difficulties were the key factors that brought down the regime of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, and two years after he fled to Saudi Arabia, unemployment and poverty still plague the North African country.

Larayedh's coalition of his own Islamist party Ennahda, two secular parties and independents received 139 votes, or 30 more than needed, in Wednesday's parliamentary session.