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Tunisia Moves to Outlaw Party of Former Ruler


Ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (file photo)

Ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (file photo)

Tunisia's interior minister, Farhat Rajhi, took steps Monday to dissolve the party of the country's ousted ruler, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

The move is designed to prevent members of the party from running in forthcoming elections to replace Mr. Ben Ali, who was forced from power last month and fled with his family to Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Rajhi filed a formal request with a Tunisian court to dissolve the Democratic Constitutional Rally, known by the initials RCD, which was founded by Mr. Ben Ali in 1988, the year after he came to power.

Meanwhile, Tunisia's caretaker government has formally asked Saudi Arabia to extradite Mr. Ben Ali's wife to face it described as "several serious crimes." Leila Trabelsi is accused of placing family members in important government and business posts, from which they were able to extort money.

The government had earlier requested Mr. Ben Ali's extradition. But there are reports that the former Tunisian leader is in poor health and may have fallen into a coma.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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