News / Africa

AU Recognizes Tunisia's Speaker as Interim Leader

Tunisian speaker of the lower house of parliament, Fouad Mebazaa, takes an oath as interim President of Tunisia, in Tunis, 15 Jan 2011
Tunisian speaker of the lower house of parliament, Fouad Mebazaa, takes an oath as interim President of Tunisia, in Tunis, 15 Jan 2011

Multimedia

Audio
TEXT SIZE - +

Africa's highest security body has recognized the speaker of Tunisia's national assembly as interim leader until fresh elections are held.  The African Union Peace and Security Council condemned the excessive use of force against demonstrators in Tunis.

Meeting in emergency session Saturday, the 15-member Peace and Security Council expressed concern at ongoing developments in Tunisia, and urged an end to all acts of violence.

AU Peace and Security Director el-Ghassim Wane says the Council indicated its satisfaction with news that Tunisia's Constitutional Court had named the national assembly speaker as interim leader pending elections.

"Yesterday the prime minister announced he was taking charge of the situation on the basis of Article 56," said Wane.  "We just learned that the Constitutional Court has decided that they should rather follow Article 57, and we believe, at least the interpretation of counsel is that so far the Tunisians have been acting within the framework of their constitution."



In cases where a leader is ousted without elections, the Peace and Security Council often suspends the country's AU membership. But Wane said in this case, President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's ouster was considered legitimate, and no action would be taken.

"No effect, in the sense that the transition was done in accordance with the constitution," added Wane.  "The speaker of the national assembly was designated to lead the transition, and that is in line with the relevant provisions of the constitution of Tunisia."

Wane said barring any unforeseen developments, Tunisia would be seated as a member in good standing at the African Union summit later this month in Addis Ababa.

One Peace and Security Council ambassador, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said many members had expressed hope that all African countries would use events in Tunis as a lesson, because in his words, what is happening now in Tunisia is what could happen to other dictators.

The Council statement urged Tunisia's interim leaders to promptly organize elections to elect a successor to President Ben Ali. The authoritarian leader's rule came to an abrupt end Friday when he fled to Saudi Arabia in the face of month-long protests over unemployment and rising food prices.

More than a dozen protestors were reported killed Thursday before Mr. Ben Ali fled, and rioters were reported looting and setting fires on the streets of Tunis Saturday.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid