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Tunisia's Interim President Gets Power to Rule by Decree

Tunisian interim President Fouad Mebazaa arrives for the first cabinet meeting since the ouster of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, Tunis, January 20, 2011 (file photo)

Tunisia's Senate has followed the lead of the lower house of parliament and adopted a measure giving interim President Fouad Mebazaa temporary powers to rule by decree.

Wednesday, the Senate unanimously passed the measure, which is part of an effort to help restore order following the January ouster of then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali by popular revolt.

The French news agency, AFP, quotes interim Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi as saying the caretaker government is facing social pressure because of the demands of citizens seeking economic improvements.

Tunisia has been struggling to restore order after anger about unemployment, high food prices and authoritarian rule sparked a series of mass protests resulting in the ouster of the Ben Ali government.

The coalition government installed after Ben Ali's departure has said that people linked to the former authorities are secretly trying to spread chaos and take back power.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP.

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