Opposition, activists take seats in new Tunisian government

Opposition, activists take seats in new Tunisian government

A new Tunisian government, featuring some returning faces - but also giving members of opposition groups and civil society a significant say - was unveiled Monday as Tunisia began to rebuild after the ouster of its president last week, dpa reported.

Six members of Zine el-Abidine ben Ali's government were reappointed to their posts, including Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane, Defence Minister Ridha Grira and Interior Minister Ahmed Friaa.

Neither Ghannouchi or the reappointed ministers were seen as particularly close to Ben Ali, the autocratic leader of 23 years, who fled to Saudi Arabia Friday after a month-long uprising that cost 78 lives and left 94 injured.

Meanwhile, three opposition leaders - Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, Ahmed Brahim and Mustapha Ben Jaafar - were brought into government.

Chebbi, leader of the Progressive Democratic Party, the biggest of the legalized opposition parties, was named minister for regional development.

Brahim, who heads the Ettajdid Movement, a leftist party that grew out of the Communist Party, was appointed minister for higher education and scientific research.

And Ben Jaafar, leader of the Union of Freedom and Labour, another left-wing party, and a medical doctor, became health minister.

Among those representing civil society was Slim Amamou, an activist and blogger, who was appointed secretary of state for youth and sport.

The government consists of 24 ministers and 15 deputy ministers in total.

Ghannouchi also announced several measures aimed at restoring political and other basic freedoms.

From now, the state would be independent of political parties, he said, and all political prisoners would be freed.

The communication ministry set up by Ben Ali in 2005 as a propaganda tool would also be scrapped and the bans on several political parties and organizations would be reviewed, he announced.

The new government's main task will be to organize parliamentary and presidential elections within two months, as called for by the constitution when the presidency is vacated. Former parliament speaker Foued Mabazaa was named interim president on Saturday.

It was not yet clear whether the new line-up would satisfy Tunisians' hunger for a clean break with the corrupt old order.

Hundreds of people had staged a march earlier Monday in Tunis to demand that Ben Ali's Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) party be kept out of power.

Moncef Marzouki, the former head of the country's human rights league and current leader of the Congress for the Republic party, denounced the new government as a "masquerade," French public radio reported.

Marzouki earlier announced he would run for president in the upcoming elections, which will be the first free polls in the country for decades.

The European Union on Monday vowed to provide "immediate assistance" in helping organize the elections.

Tunisia's neighbours in North Africa and Europe are keeping a wary eye on developments, which prompted the evacuation of thousands of French and German tourists.

By Monday, the looting, arson and anarchy that erupted after Ben Ali's exit had begun to ease, but the situation was still tense.

The army blames Ben Ali's presidential guard for trying to stoke unrest and arrested Ben Ali's security chief.

Elsewhere, France's Le Monde daily reported that Ben Ali's wife, Leila, collected 1.5 tons of gold, worth some 60 million dollars, from the central bank before leaving Tunisia last week.

The president's wife is a member of the powerful Trabelsi clan, which controls much of Tunisia's wealth and became a symbol of the kleptocracy that riddled the country of 10 million.

Libya armed groups raid hotel where presidency met, its spokeswoman says
Libya armed groups raid hotel where presidency met, its spokeswoman says
Brazil eyes new Pfizer deal next week for 100 million more COVID-19 shots
Brazil eyes new Pfizer deal next week for 100 million more COVID-19 shots
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 839,000 in past day — WHO
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 839,000 in past day — WHO
Loading Bars
Libya armed groups raid hotel where presidency met, its spokeswoman says
Cybercriminals developing "smart" swarm attack technologies - Fortinet
EU calls on U.S. and others to exports their vaccines
Brazil eyes new Pfizer deal next week for 100 million more COVID-19 shots
Biden concerned about Iran's seriousness in Vienna talks
Israel reports 41 new COVID-19 cases, 838,858 in total
Russia continues analyzing situation around possible Putin-Biden summit — Kremlin
Number of COVID-2019 cases across globe up by over 839,000 in past day — WHO
UK records another 2,490 coronavirus cases, 15 deaths
Azerbaijan, 10 other OSCE countries call to prevent Nazi glorification - joint statement
"You are free, dear Shusha!" - this May 8 we are in Shusha
Azerbaijani wrestler Alice Manolova wins license for 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo
Iran's CBI warns people of losses of trading cryptocurrencies
Large-scale Covid vaccination sites to be set up in 4 main cities of Georgia
New daily COVID-19 cases in Turkey drops to 20,107
Azerbaijani FM holds meeting with ADB Director for Azerbaijan (PHOTO)
Difficulty of my exercises at World Cup in Baku higher than in two previous competitions - Azerbaijani gymnast Arzu Jalilova
Biden says he’s confident in one-on-one meeting with Putin
Azerbaijani embassy denounces decision of Latvian parliament on events of 1915
Kazakhstan boosts goods import from Denmark
Georgian State Electrosystem plans to issue bonds
Establishment of free trade zone in Iran's Ardabil Province to improve trade - MP
Chief of ADB's Energy Sector Group unveils details on ADB Draft Energy Policy
Azerbaijani team express satisfaction for participating in Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup
Azerbaijani team in group exercises reaches final of Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku
Revenues from customs duties increase in Azerbaijan
Austrian IT company discloses volume of entire internet traffic accounting for people in 2020
Azerbaijan's 4M2021 revenues from State Customs Committee unveiled
Azerbaijan almost doubles export of aluminum
Azerbaijan partially resuming traditional form of education
Armenia experiences continuous population decline
EU to continue activity in Azerbaijan in field of green economy - Head of EU delegation
Head of EU Delegation to Azerbaijan talks possibilities of resuming int'l travel
Group teams perform at National Gymnastics Arena as part of Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan names finalists in exercises with ball within Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku
Azerbaijan names finalists in exercises with hoop within Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku
Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku - results of performance of Azerbaijani gymnasts in exercise with hoop and ball (PHOTO)
Italian gymnast talks about friendly relations with Azerbaijani gymnast
Best moments of first day of Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup in Baku (PHOTO)
World Cup in Baku - most long-awaited competition, says Lithuanian gymnast
WB plans to issue loan for road project in Azerbaijan
Georgian SME program aims digitization and environmental initiative to address climate change
Georgia to build enterprise for production of cleaning and detergents
Presidents of Uzbekistan, Russia consider strengthening of strategic partnership
Trade turnover between Uzbekistan and Belarus significantly increases
Hungarian lab confirms reliability of Sputnik V jab delivered to Slovakia
France's Macron: Vaccine patents not the issue, it's getting jabs out
Monday.com files for Wall Street IPO
Georgia, Ukraine emphasize European and Euro-Atlantic integration aspirations
Organizing committee of World Cup in Azerbaijan’s Baku doing its job perfectly - Hungarian gymnast
Hotel price index up in Georgia for April 2021
Qatar Airways to resume flights from Doha to Baku soon
Uzbekistan reveals financial performance of Uzbek mobile operators
Iran's sees increase in petrochemical exports
Indian Embassy in Baku introduced a new Sanskrit learning App, ‘Little Guru’ (PHOTO)
Azerbaijan discloses number of views of President Aliyev’s interview on Twitter (VIDEO)
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens for May 7
Azerbaijan issues data on 1Q2021 export of fruits, vegetables
Azerbaijan confirms 722 more COVID-19 cases, 1,854 recoveries
Iran-Syria trade increases - Chamber of Commerce
Heydar Aliyev Foundation to organize legendary Khary Bulbul music festival in Shusha
Azerbaijan State Security Service talks arrest of illegal armed groups' members
VISA, Central Bank of Azerbaijan sign agreement on development of non-cash payments in Azerbaijan
Pakistan PM Khan in Saudi Arabia to discuss relations
Georgian Formula Construction exports building materials to Lithuania
Firefighters tackle blaze at 19-storey London tower block
Iran increases amount of jobs in free economic zones
Azerbaijan creates best conditions in National Gymnastics Arena - Uzbek gymnast
Greece, Estonia have biggest decrease in CO2 emissions from energy use
Iran says no need for direct or indirect talks with US
Georgia sees increase in international visitors
AzerGold discloses results of tender for software installation
Highest rate of inactive loans recorded in Georgian Cartu Bank
Russia documents 8,386 COVID-19 cases in past 24 hours
U.S. administers nearly 252 mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines
Georgia needs investments for faster economic recovery - PM
Azerbaijan has lower COVID-19 death rate compared to global indicators - professor
Kazakhstan sees decrease in petroleum oil exports to Spain
Baku hosts opening ceremony of Rhythmic Gymnastics World Cup (PHOTO)
Former serviceman accused of treason and espionage in Armenia
Azerbaijan plans to withdraw its peacekeepers from Afghanistan – Defense ministry
India grants permission for 5G trials to telecom service providers
Armenian side does not fulfill obligations upon int’l humanitarian law - MFA
Japan pledges $50.3 million to help India combat COVID-19
Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan developing analogy of Schengen visa for Silk Road countries
Azerbaijan forming perspective industrial complex
Azerbaijan - important int’l transport hub - chairman of Azerbaijan Railways CJSC (PHOTO)
ADB to no longer finance coal mining, oil, and natural gas field exploration
Successful policy on development of sports in Azerbaijan bearing fruit - Deputy Sports Minister
All gymnasts provided with necessary time to train for Rhythmic Gymnastics FIG World Cup in Baku - Greek gymnast
Germany says production capacity, not patents, key to upping vaccine output
Saudi to make COVID-19 vaccinations mandatory for all workers
Georgia shares data on number of citizen registered for temporary employment in Germany and Israel
Uzbekneftegaz increases natural gas output at field of Gazli oil and gas production dep’t
Uzbekistan to increase copper sulfate exports to Poland
Several investment projects to be implemented in Kazakhstan's Zhambyl in 2021
Iran continues to strengthen ties with China, Russia
Winners of ‘Sustainable Development in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering’ conference awarded (PHOTO)
Very exciting to perform in Rhythmic Gymnastics FIG World Cup in Baku - Polish gymnast
Global Affairs Canada welcomes release of Armenian detainees by Azerbaijan
All news