Tunisia’s interim government unveiled

Monday, January 17, 2011

TUNIS - Tunisia’s reappointed Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi Monday unveiled an interim power-sharing government, in which several members of former president Zine el-Abidine ben Ali’s regime retained their posts but the opposition also took control of key dossiers.

Six members of the exiled Ben Ali’s government were reappointed to their ministries, including Ghannouchi and Foreign Minister Kamel Morjane.

Three opposition leaders - Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, Ahmed Brahim and Mustapha Ben Jaafar - were brought into the 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 Union of Freedom and Labour and a doctor, became health minister.

Ghannouchi declared that from now, the state would be independent of all political parties, that all political prisoners would be freed and that the government would review the ban on several political parties and organizations imposed by Ben Ali’s administration.

The communication ministry set up by the former president in 2005 was scrapped.

Ben Ali fled Tunisia Friday after a month-long uprising that cost over 60 lives, mostly unarmed protesters.

The new government must organize elections within two months.

Filed under: Politics

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