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Tunisian government pledges fail to stop protests

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Tunisian government pledges fail to stop protests


The Tunisian government’s promises of a break with the past look to have fallen on deaf ears this weekend.

A union-backed march called the “Caravan of Liberation” is on its way to the capital as pressure mounts on the government to resign, while many policemen have joined the demonstrators.

In Tunis a candlelit vigil was held for the victims of the uprising that forced President Ben Ali and his family to flee to Saudi Arabia.

The heads of three fact-finding commissions set up by the government have affirmed their independence.

“The first thing we will look at is the body that was heavily involved in abuses during the uprising, and that’s the interior ministry,” said Taoufik Bouderbala, head of the National Commission to Investigate Abuses.

He singled out “a group that has committed acts of looting, acts of killing, and which has opened fire on defenceless civilians”.

Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi has multiplied moves to appease protesters, including a pledge to quit politics after planned elections.

For his opponents it is not enough. A dissident back from exile has called for a new, independent premier – while one demonstrator said “revolution” meant “radical change, not keeping on the same prime minister”.

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