News / Middle East

Islamists, Secularists Protest Outside Tunisian Parliament

Islamist supporters descend on central Tunis, Tunisia, December 3, 2011.  Several thousand Islamists and pro-secular demonstrators faced off in front of Tunisia's Constituent Assembly, where the North African nation's new, post-revolutionary constitution
Islamist supporters descend on central Tunis, Tunisia, December 3, 2011. Several thousand Islamists and pro-secular demonstrators faced off in front of Tunisia's Constituent Assembly, where the North African nation's new, post-revolutionary constitution

Thousands of Tunisian Islamists and secularists gathered near the parliament building in the capital, Tunis, Saturday in rival protests.

Separated by barriers and police, the two sides shouted slogans and waved flags outside the Bardo Palace where a new constitution is being drawn by lawmakers.

The latest round of protests was sparked when a group of hardline Islamists occupied a university campus near the capital earlier this week to demand segregation of sexes in class and for female students to wear a full-face veil.

The moderate Islamist Ennahda party dominates Tunisia's new 217-member assembly, taking the largest number of seats in the country's first democratic polls on October 23.

The secular Congress for the Republic placed second with 30 seats and the Democratic Forum for Labor and Liberties, or Ettakatol, came in third with 21 seats.

Some secularists say the Islamists want to concentrate all the power in the hands of the prime minister from Ennahda party, which will lead the new coalition government.

The vote, which came nine months after protesters ousted longtime president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali, was widely considered free and fair and sparked similar uprisings across the Arab world.  

The assembly held its historic opening session last month.

You May Like

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license 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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid