News / Africa

Protesters Call for Ban of Tunisian RCD Party

Tunisian protesters shout slogans in front of the RCD party office after the sign bearing its name was dismantled, in Tunis, 20 Jan 2011
Tunisian protesters shout slogans in front of the RCD party office after the sign bearing its name was dismantled, in Tunis, 20 Jan 2011

Multimedia

Audio
Lisa Bryant

Tunisia's transitional government met for the first time as protesters hardened their calls for the former ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party to be dissolved and banned.

The protests in Tunisia are smaller these days than the mass demonstrations that ousted former strongman Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali from power, but protesters say they will continue their rallies until every vestige of his once all-powerful RCD party is gone.  

In Tunis, hundreds rallied in front of the RCD party headquarters and on the main Avenue Habib Bourguiba. News agencies reported several thousand people gathered in the southern town of Gafsa and elsewhere in the country.

Several ministers in the new interim government have quit RCD, including the country's interim president Fouad Mebazaa and interim prime minister Mohammed Ghannouchi. Tunisia's official news agency reports a junior minister resigned on Thursday after being criticized over his ties to the old Ben Ali regime.

Prime Minister Ghannouchi has enacted key reforms, including lifting the press ban, legalizing a main human rights groups and freeing political prisoners. And on Wednesday, Mebazaa vowed a complete break from the past, saying the country is turning the page.  

But that isn't enough for protesters like 30-year-old Mona Turki. "Let's say the speech from yesterday, from the new president was a little bit better. Because he has changed the tone and he's trying to make things better. But he's like the old ones. Nothing has changed."

Police fired warning shots to deter demonstrators, and helicopters flew overhead as in previous days of protests. The situation overall has calmed, though, with fewer reports of violence and looting.

Tunisian authorities also announced the arrest of 33 members of Ben Ali's family, with new reports of the state seizing their assets. Allegations of corruption surrounding the former president and his extended and wealthy clan helped fuel the national fury that drove Ben Ali from power.

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

You May Like

Video One Year After Thai Coup, No End in Sight for Military Rule

Since carrying out the May 22, 2014 coup, the general has retired from the military but is still firmly in charge More

Goodbye, New York

This is what the fastest-growing big cities in America have in common More

Job-Seeking Bangladeshis Risk Lives to Find Work

The number of Bangladeshi migrants on smugglers’ boats bound for Southeast Asian countries has soared in the past two years 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.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs