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Tunisian old guard plays last card

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Tunisian old guard plays last card


The interim Tunisian government announces its major reshuffle today in a bid to quell the unrest that persists despite the people’s ousting of President Ben Ali.

The reshuffle has been delayed because of disagreements between the principle survivor of the old regime, Prime Minister Ghannouchi, and those who want all the old guard, including himself, consigned to history.

Ghannouchi has been PM for the last 11 years, and Ben Ali men hold the key defence, interior, justice and foreign affairs portfolios.

“This is a test for this transitional government to hold accountable people implicated in grave violations and give them fair trials. So the Justice Ministry is a lynchpin to the reform process and it has to move forward. It has to ensure fair trials and aggressive investigations of past abuses,” says Human Rights Watch’s Eric Goldstein.

For those still protesting, the Justice system has offered the promise of revenge, issuing an international arrest warrant for Ben Ali, his wife Leila, and nine other family members. Interpol is attempting to locate them.

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