News / Middle East

Tunisian Opposition Rallies Against Ruling Islamists

Anti-government protesters wave Tunisian flags as they rally for the dissolution of the Islamist-led government in Sfax, southeast of Tunis, Sep. 26, 2013.
Anti-government protesters wave Tunisian flags as they rally for the dissolution of the Islamist-led government in Sfax, southeast of Tunis, Sep. 26, 2013.
Reuters
— Thousands protested in cities across Tunisia on Thursday to call on the ruling Islamist Ennahda party to step down immediately to make way for new elections to end a stalemate with its secular opponents.
 
The North African nation that started the 2011 “Arab Spring” revolts has been caught in political deadlock since July after the assassination of an opposition leader.
 
Waving national flags and chanting “Leave Now”, protesters took to the streets of six cities to demand the resignation a government critics fear wants impose a hardline Islamist agenda.
 
“The Islamists should understand this message, they should leave soon. We're ready to stay in the streets until they are gone,” said Rafahia Loumi, taking part in a rally in Sfax, 170 miles (270 km) southeast of Tunis.
 
After the fall of autocrat Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, Tunisia's transition has been relatively peaceful compared with the ouster of an elected Islamist president by Egypt's army and the Libyan government's struggle with rival militias.
 
But the growing influence of Islamists, especially hardline conservatives calling for an Islamist state, has riled many in what has long been considered one of the most secular countries in the Muslim world, with strong ties to Europe.
 
Ennahda, itself split between moderates and hardliners, has governed in an alliance with two small secular parties and tried to appease worries it is not trying hard enough to control violent Islamist militants.
 
But the killing of a second opposition leader in six months by suspected Islamist gunmen sparked outrage and calls for the government's resignation.
 
After weeks of political wrangling, Tunisia's powerful UGTT union has come up with a proposal for the government to resign but only after three weeks of talks to decide on a date for elections and the composition of a caretaker administration.
 
Ennahda this week appeared to back away from that proposal, however, calling for more guarantees the new constitution will be finished and an election timetable be set before it agrees to make way for a transition administration.

You May Like

Koreas Mark 61st Anniversary of War Armistice

Muted observances on both sides of heavily-armed Demilitarized Zone that separates two decades-long enemies More

Judge Declares Washington DC Ban on Public Handguns Unconstitutional

Ruling overturns capital city's prohibition on carrying guns in pubic More

Pricey Hepatitis C Drug Draws Criticism

Activists are using the International AIDS Conference to criticize drug companies for charging high prices for life-saving therapies More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Students in Business for Themselvesi
X
Mike O'Sullivan
July 26, 2014 11:04 AM
They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Students in Business for Themselves

They're only high school students, but they are making accessories for shoes, fabricating backpacks and doing product photography - all through their own businesses. It's the result of a partnership between a non-profit organization that teaches entrepreneurship and their schools. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan and Deyane Moses met the budding entrepreneurs near Los Angeles.
Video

Video Astronauts Train in Underwater Lab

In the world’s only underwater laboratory, four U.S. astronauts train for a planned visit to an asteroid. The lab - called Aquarius- is located five kilometers off Key Largo, in southern Florida. Living in close quarters and making excursions only into the surrounding ocean, they try to simulate the daily routine of a crew that will someday travel to collect samples of a rock orbiting far away from earth. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Not Even Monks Spared From Thailand’s Junta-Backed Morality Push

With Thailand’s military government firmly in control after May’s bloodless coup, authorities are carrying out plans they say are aimed at restoring discipline, morality and patriotism to all Thais. The measures include a crackdown on illegal gambling, education reforms to promote students’ moral development, and a new 24-hour phone hotline for citizens to report misbehaving monks. Steve Sandford reports from Bangkok.
Video

Video Virtual Program Teaches Farming Skills

In a fast-changing world beset by unpredictable climate conditions, farmers cannot afford to ignore new technology. Researchers in Australia are developing an online virtual world program to share information about climate change and more sustainable farming techniques for sugar cane growers. As VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports, the idea is to create a wider support network for farmers.
Video

Video Airline Expert: Missile will Show Signature on Debris

The debris field from Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 is spread over a 21-kilometer radius in eastern Ukraine. It is expected to take investigators months to sort through the airplane pieces to learn about the missile that brought down the jetliner and who fired it. VOAs Carolyn Presutti explains how this work will be done.
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.

AppleAndroid