News / Africa

Tunisia Announces New Unity Government

Tunisian PM Mohamed Ghannouchi arrives to announce a national unity government in Tunis, 17 Jan 2011
Tunisian PM Mohamed Ghannouchi arrives to announce a national unity government in Tunis, 17 Jan 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Lisa Bryant

Tunisia's prime minister has announced a transitional government that includes members of the opposition.  He also eased restrictions on the press and human-rights groups.  But the old regime holds the top posts and hundreds of people demonstrated against it in the capital.

Tunisia's Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi included three members of the country's opposition in his newly named transitional government.  He also announced the lifting of all media restrictions, along with the ban against the country's main human-rights group.

At a news conference, he said the transitional government's priority was re-establishing security after days of looting and demonstrations, but he also promised political and economic reforms.  Interim President Fouad Mebazaa has called for elections within 60 days.

Watch Ravi Khanna's Companion TV Report:

But the top posts - defense, finance, interior and foreign ministries - have been retained by members of the former government of ousted ex-president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.  And several leftist and Islamist oppositions parties, banned under Ben Ali, were not included in the new Cabinet.

Even before the new government was announced, hundreds of protesters again massed on Tunis' main Habib Bourguiba Avenue chanting for Ben Ali's ruling RCD party, to go.

The RCD has to go, one angry man said, because it will just go back to its old tricks.  The army has to stay, and give time for a real democracy to flourish.

Some Tunisians like Nabiha do not just want the party banned from politics, but also all the members of the old establishment.  That includes the current interim leaders, Tunisia's longtime Prime Minister Ghannouchi and Interim President Mebazaa, the former speaker of parliament.

"People again are demonstrating in the streets to [PM] Ghannouchi 'out',  Because this man was part of the system.  He could not say he [did not know] about the corruption.  All Tunisians knew about that," she said.

But not everybody was protesting.

Lamia Gritli, a VOA journalist native of Tunisia, shares her insights on recent events in the country:

In the capital Tunis, people returned to work and their everyday routines, although streets rapidly emptied by late afternoon, before the 6:00 pm curfew.

And more shops and outdoor markets were open,  like this fruit and vegetable market on in the Tunis neighborhood of Bab el Khadra.

One elderly man at the market praised Prime Minister Ghannouchi as an honest man.  Besides, he said, Tunisia's new interim government would be a temporary,  to calm things.  The next one, he predicted, would be brought in by the ballot box.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic 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.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid