Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Turkey's Border Bother: Ankara wary of emboldened Kurds (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

Golan Heights' Druze minority urges action across border in Syria

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

How does IS group finance itself?

Read more

FACE-OFF

French terror attacks: A 'war of civilization'?

Read more

THE DEBATE

Turkey's Border Bother: Ankara wary of emboldened Kurds (part 1)

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'Tale of Tales', 'Love and Mercy' and 'Terminator Genisys'

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'There is reason to be optimistic' on Iran nuclear talks

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Greece: Austerity vs. Bankruptcy

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'The giant fine wine rip-off'

Read more

Africa

Tunisia poised to give interim president emergency powers

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-02-07

Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi (photo) Monday pressed lawmakers to grant the interim president Foued Mebazaa the power to rule by decree. The measure would allow the president to sidestep a parliament dominated by ousted leader Ben Ali’s party.

AFP - Tunisia's parliament met Monday to vote emergency powers for the country's interim president after the government banned the ruling party of ousted leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
              
Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi told the 125 deputies present in the 214-seat parliament that they had to approve the measure in order to bring peace to a country still mired in turmoil three weeks after Ben Ali was ousted in a popular revolt.
              
"Time is precious. Tunisia has real need of rule by decree to remove dangers," he said at the first parliamentary session since Ben Ali's overthrow.
              
"There are people who want Tunisia to go backwards but we must honour our martyrs who fought for liberty."
              
A vote on the new legislation will take place later Monday before the measure goes before the upper house of parliament, the Senate.
              
If approved it will give interim president Foued Mebazaa power to rule by decree and sidestep a parliament dominated by the Constitutional Democratic Assembly (RCD), the party of Ben Ali which was suspended on Sunday.
              
Eighty percent of deputies belong to the long-feared RCD, which had a monopoly on power under Ben Ali and could still stand in the way of reform.
              
Prior to Monday's vote hundreds of demonstrators gathered outside parliament demanding the dissolution of the assembly, known as the unpopular RDC's one-time power base.
              
The suspension on Sunday is a first step towards dissolving the party which opponents fear could return to power following elections scheduled for six months from now.
              
The party claims two million members out of a total population of 10 million and remains a well-organised political group which could mount a strong political campaign.
              
Under the suspension, the RDC is banned from organising meetings and public gatherings while its offices have been shut down.
              
The government moved to suspend the party in part to soothe renewed bouts of violence that have broken out after it relaxed a curfew imposed on January 12.
              
The interim government, which replaced top police chiefs and the governors of all of Tunisia's 24 provinces just days before, had hoped the move would help calm the unrest.
              
But protesters and opposition politicians are calling for a more thorough shakeup, judging some of the newly named governors too close to the old regime and the RDC.
              
In unrest northwest of the capital on Sunday 40 people were injured, one badly burned in the torching of a police station, in the town of Kef, hospital sources said.
              
In the southern town of Kebili, one youth died after he was hit by a tear gas canister during clashes with security forces, the state news agency TAP reported.
              
An interior ministry source said that two people were killed and 13 injured, including four policemen, in street protests in Kef on Saturday.
              
Several hundred demonstrators had been calling for Kef police chief Khaled Ghazouani to be sacked for abuse of power, according to TAP.
              
By Monday calm was restored in the town with soldiers patrolling the streets, local union official Raouf Hadaoui told AFP by telephone from Tunis.
              
TAP meanwhile reported the arrests of two members of the security forces suspected over the deaths of two detainees in Sidi Bouzid, in the centre of the country.
              
It was in Sidi Bouzid that a young man, Mohamed Bouazizi, died after setting himself on fire on December 17, triggering the uprising.             

Date created : 2011-02-07

  • TUNISIA

    Tunisia suspends Ben Ali's former ruling party amid fresh clashes

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Fresh wave of anti-government protests hit Tunisia

    Read more

  • TUNISIA

    Islamist leader Ghannouchi returns to Tunisia after 22 years in exile

    Read more

COMMENT(S)