Saturday, January 29, 2011

PoliticsTunisia: New cabinet: Defence, finance, foreign, interior ministers kicked out, Ounais new foreign minister

AFP via Yahoo! News (Jan29,2k11)
by Ines Bel Alba

Clashes in Tunisia 

as new cabinet sworn in

Tunisia's new cabinet line-up culled key figures associated with Ben Ali's ousted regime including the defence, finance, foreign and interior ministers.
Ghannouchi has promised to hold democratic elections within six months.
The reshuffle was received positively by the influential UGTT trade union -- which played a vital role in the anti-Ben Ali movement and had led opposition to the interim government, with the union saying it approved of Ghannouchi.
EU officials said the new foreign minister, Ahmed Abderraouf Ounais, a Paris-educated career diplomat, was set to visit Brussels on Tuesday.
A statement from European Union chief diplomat Catherine Ashton congratulated Ounais on his appointment.
She stressed the EU's "solidarity with the Tunisian people in their efforts to build a stable and pluralistic democracy with full respect for the rule of law and fundamental rights and freedoms."
The EU said it would send experts next week to help prepare elections.
France, which has come under fire for backing Ben Ali and failing to support protests against him early on, said it wished the new government "success".
Tunisia has a chance for a cooled-down peaceful transition, with a time-horizon for new elections under a care-taker govt under Ghannouchi but representing diverse social demographics instead of the present residues of the totalitarian regime further phasing out of power.  May God have mercy on the emerging new Tunisia.  And may its Muslim majority show mercy upon its Christian minority, both Protestants and Catholics.
-- Politicarp

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