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Tunisia enters a new democratic era

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Tunisia enters a new democratic era


Tunisia has entered a new era with the opening of a democratically elected constituent assembly, ten months after the ousting of President Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.

The body’s 217 members will tasked with drafting a new constitution. It is dominated by the Islamist party Ennahda, whose secretary general Hamadi Jebali will be prime minister.

Its two junior coalition partners take the posts of Assembly Speaker and the largely ceremonial role of President.

New head of state Moncef Marzouki said he was proud to lead “a real new-born republic in the Arab world,” and praised the peaceful revolution that swept Ben Ali from power.

The deposed leader ruled Tunisia with an iron first for 23 years and enjoyed the support of Western governments. That was until demonstrators called on Ben Ali to step down. He fled for Saudi Arabia on January 15.

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