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Tunisian president announces he will stand down

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Tunisian president announces he will stand down

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Was it joy that President Ben Ali was finally going to leave the presidential palace in three years time that brought Tunisians out onto the streets in a happier mood on Thursday night? Or was it a more general feeling that they had been heard and efforts would be made to tackle youth unemployment and corruption?

The President’s words on television seemed timely.

“I want to talk to you because the situation needs a radical change,” he said. “I understand you, all of you – the jobless, the needy, the politicians, and those who call for more freedom. I understand all of you, but this violence, what is happening, is not in our character.”

For the demonstrators, 23 years in power has led to this, which many are hoping will be a turning point in Tunisia’s history. The starting gun has been fired for the 2014 presidential election; Tunisia is now in transition, but to what?