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Opposition party quits new Tunisia government

[ 2011-01-19 15:18]     字号 [] [] []  
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The Democratic Unionist Union (UDU), one of Tunisia's opposition parties, refused on Monday to take part in the country's new government.

The new government does not "enable the participation of all forces and it doesn't meet the objectives of the popular revolution," said a communique released by the UDU's political bureau on Monday.

UDU said it "hails the revolution of the valiant Tunisian people", calling on all political forces to build the future of the country.

Tunisian Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi on Monday announced the formation of a national unity government after former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was ousted last week.

Ghannouchi said the new government is composed of 21 ministers, including six former ministers, members of the opposition and independents.

Two leading opposition figures, the founder of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) Nejib Chebbi and Mustapha Ben Jaafar, who is from the Democratic Forum for Work and Liberties, would hold cabinet posts, said the prime minister.

Six former top ministers, including the interior, defense and foreign ministers, retained their posts in the new government, said Ghannouchi, adding that the communication ministry would not exist and will be replaced by a specialized commission.

Ghannouchi also announced that the restrictions on the Tunisian League of Human Rights and on the Tunisian Association of Magistrates would be lifted.

All political parties and nongovernmental associations will also be recognized and will be able to operate freely, he added.

Ghannouchi also announced the establishment of three commissions in charge of political reforms, monitoring unlawful acts and fighting against corruption, adding that all political prisoners will be freed.

"We will work toward fair and transparent elections monitored by international observers," said Ghannouchi, who also confirmed that the government will allow freedom of speech.

Former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who ruled the north African country for 23 years, fled to Saudi Arabia, as the riots developed into a political crisis and raised serious concern in both the Arab world and the international community.

The turmoil in the country, known as a "peaceful oasis", was triggered by the death of a university graduate in central Tunisia, who burned himself after the police confiscated his unlicensed fruit cart.

On Monday morning, hundreds of protesters demonstrated in the capital against the inclusion of the ruling Democratic Constitutional Rally (RCD) in the unity government. Police dispersed the demonstrators with water canons and tear gas.


(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)

Opposition party quits new Tunisia government

Opposition party quits new Tunisia government

Todd Balazovic is a reporter for the Metro Section of China Daily. Born in Mineapolis Minnesota in the US, he graduated from Central Michigan University and has worked for the China Daily for one year.