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Tunisia's new government in disarray

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Tunisia's new government in disarray


Tunisia’s new unity government appears in disarray just a day after it was announced. The inclusion of the so-called “old guard” – members of ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali’s RCD party – brought angry crowds back out onto the streets.

Their message was clear from chants and placards – Ben Ali’s RCD party should go.

Three opposition ministers from the labour union have quit, and another two opposition members also look set to pull out if the RCD remains.

The capital Tunis has once again been the scene of violence as crowds and police clashed. Tear gas and batons were repeatedly used to break up groups, which quickly reformed in other parts of the city.

There were similar scenes in other towns around the country.

According to the Interior Ministry, the death toll from unrest so far now stands at 78.

Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi’s plea to give the cabinet a chance, and his insistence that a few old hands are needed in this transitional period, appear to have been rejected.

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