Tunisian authorities have broken up a protest camp outside the prime minister’s office in the capital Tunis.
The camp was set up five days ago to demand the removal of all ministers with ties to the deposed regime of former President Ben Ali.In response the government removed 12 ministers, but it was not enough for the protesters.
Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi, who served in the same post under Ben Ali, is one of the few high-ranking officials to retain his position, much to the anger of demonstrators.
Outside the prime ministers office one of the protesters said: “What we want is for our demands to be met through dialogue, let them talk to the protesters; we have formed people’s committees to sit down with them and talk, but everyone is avoiding us, whether officials or unions.”
Ghannouchi has said he will remain in office until free elections can be arranged and will then stand down.
Tunisia’s interim government has arrested several dozen members of Ben Ali’s extended family. It also has issued international arrest warrants against Ben Ali who fled the country to seek sanctuary in Saudi Arabia.
Tunisia also wants Ben Ali’s wife, Leila Trabelsi, arrested. It has been reported she fled Tunisia with millions in gold bullion stashed on board an aircraft.