Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Germany's World Cup title

Read more

FASHION

Paris, Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Farnborough air show takes off but F-35 jet is grounded

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Bastille Day celebrations

Read more

TOUR DE TECH

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola death toll increases in Sierra Leone

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Finally, a good use for new app "Yo"

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Viviane Reding, MEP, European People's Party

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

Schulz returns to Parliament presidency: back to business as usual?

Read more

  • Boules and booze: Bastille Day à la New Yorkaise

    Read more

  • In pictures: 2014 World Cup historic moments

    Read more

  • Kremlin mulls 'retaliatory strikes' after death of Russian civilian

    Read more

  • Senegal honours the soldiers who fought for France in WWI

    Read more

  • Clashes erupt in Paris as thousands march to support Palestinians

    Read more

  • Operations underway to refloat shipwrecked Costa Concordia

    Read more

  • Germany defeat Argentina 1-0 to win fourth World Cup title

    Read more

  • Paris’s Bastille Day fireworks ‘a homage to victims’ of WWI

    Read more

  • Thousands flee northern Gaza after Israeli warning

    Read more

  • Major differences remain as deadline looms in Iran nuclear talks

    Read more

  • Rival Libyan militias exchange heavy fire at Tripoli airport

    Read more

  • French military to extend Mali 'counterterrorism' operations into Sahel

    Read more

  • Legendary conductor Lorin Maazel dies aged 84

    Read more

Africa

Tunisian transitional cabinet holds its first session amid continuing demonstrations

©

Video by Elena CASAS

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2011-01-20

Tunisia’s newly appointed transitional cabinet held its first session Thursday as protestors gathered outside the former ruling party’s headquarters in Tunis, calling for the scrapping of the Democratic Constitutional Rally party (RCD).

Protestors in the Tunisian capital of Tunis kept up the pressure on the government to rid itself of ties to the old guard Thursday as the country’s newly appointed transitional cabinet held its first session.

Shortly before the cabinet meeting opened, Tunisian state TV reported that all eight ministers of the interim unity government who had previously been linked to former Tunisian President Zine al Abidine Ben Ali’s Democratic Constitutional Rally party (RCD) had resigned their party memberships.

 
Tunisians continue to pressure Ben Ali's RCD party
According to the broadcast, the RCD’s once-powerful central committee had been dissolved as many committee members, who were also government ministers, had quit the party under opposition pressure. The party itself would continue to operate, the report said.
 
Reporting from Tunis, FRANCE 24’s Chris Moore said the RCD, which ruled Tunisia for several decades, has increasingly become the target of public anger following the inclusion of top ministers linked to Ben Ali in the new transitional government.
 
“The focal point of the demonstrations in Tunis today has shifted from the main Avenue Bourguiba to the headquarters of the RCD party,” said Moore. “The message from the protestors is, ‘We want the RCD out’. Protestors say that with these symbolic resignations by the prime minister and the interim government from the party, they are effectively taking the people for fools.”
 
Moore, however, added that inside the RCD headquarters, a senior party official insisted that under Ben Ali, Tunisians didn’t really have a choice - if they needed to get ahead, they had to be card-holding members of the party. “Now they insist they are simply civil servants charged with running the country and paving the way for elections,” said Moore.
 
While the public directed its anger at RCD symbols Thursday, Moore said the protests turned out to be “fairly good natured,” although police fired a few warning shots at the start of the demonstration.
 
A wave of RCD resignations
 
Nearly a week after Ben Ali fled for Saudi Arabia, the newly appointed transitional unity government is struggling to stabilize Tunisia, once considered a model of stability in the Arab world. But the week’s events underline just how difficult the task will be.
 
Four cabinet ministers linked to the country’s main trade union and opposition parties resigned Monday in protest over the inclusion of the old guard in the new government.
 

What not to call Tunisia’s revolution

Used by a number of international media and governments to describe current events in Tunisia, the term “Jasmine Revolution” calls to mind a very different episode for most Tunisians. The name was given to the “medical coup d’état”, carried out by Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in 1987, when he took power from then president Habib Bourguiba by declaring him “too senile” for office. FRANCE 24 has therefore decided not to use the term in reference to the current situation in Tunisia, which brought about the downfall of Ben Ali on 14 January.

Three critical portfolios – including the foreign, defence and interior ministries – were given to veteran Tunisian politicians linked with the ruling RDC party.
 
On Tuesday, interim President Foued Mebazaa and Prime Minister Ghannouchi announced their resignation from the RCD party.
 
But as the Tunisian public kept up the pressure, other ministers from the RDC tendered their resignations Thursday.
 
Tracking Ben Ali’s overseas assets
 
Meanwhile Tunisian authorities were attempting to track Ben Ali’s overseas assets as well as those of his wife’s family.
 
Speaking to the AFP on Thursday, an unnamed EU source said the 27-member grouping had agreed in principle to freeze the Ben Ali’s family assets. According to the source, the EU was awaiting a list from the new Tunisian authorities of those to be targeted by the sanctions.
 
On Wednesday, Tunisian state television reported the arrest of 33 members of Ben Ali’s family for “crimes against Tunisia”. Many of the former president’s family were said to have profited from their connections to the regime.
 
The government also said its prosecutors had opened an investigation into the family’s overseas assets, while the Swiss government moved to freeze their funds in Swiss banks.

 

Date created : 2011-01-20

  • TUNISIA

    Fledgling cabinet postpones first meeting amid protests

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Tunisian police arrest Ben Ali family members

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)