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March 08, 2011

Tunisian Court Dissolves Ousted President's Party

A Tunisian court has dissolved the political party of deposed President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

The court Wednesday also decided to liquidate the assets and funds of Democratic Constitutional Rally, or RCD. Pro-democracy activists had demanded that the party be dismantled since the president was driven from power on January 14.

The interior ministry suspended the party from official activities in January. It said the RCD, which claimed a membership of 2 million out of a population of 12 million, had effectively created a one-party totalitarian regime.

On Monday, Tunisia's interim authorities announced a new government and disbanded a feared security agency that was known for targeting political dissidents under the former president.

The dismantling of the former president's political police and state security force had been another one of the demands of pro-democracy activists in the country.

The force had been tasked with investigating political dissent, allegedly committing human rights abuses in the process.

Protesters in Tunisia have kept up pressure since Mr. Ben Ali's fall, demanding a timetable for constitutional reform and elections, as well as a government free of former regime members. Tunisia's interim president, Fouad Mebazaa, has said the country will vote July 24 to elect a council that will rewrite the constitution and chart the country's post-revolution transition.

Tunisia's revolt against its longtime leader touched off anti-government demonstrations in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Oman, Jordan, Algeria, Morocco, Iran and Iraq.

 

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