Tunisian PM Resigns; Police Break Up Demonstrations in Capital

Source: VOA


Protesters clash with riot police in downtown in Tunis, February 26, 2011

Tunisia‘s interim Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi has announced his resignation, saying he hopes it will “help his successor work to solve the country’s problems.” The resignation was announced as police clashed with protesters, a day after three people were killed in anti-government protests.

Several-hundred young people calling for the ouster of the country’s interim government gathered on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in downtown Tunis.  Their protest did not last long.

Police surged toward them, lobbing tear gas and beating some of the protesters. There was a hail of stones, but it was unclear who was doing the throwing. There was also the sound of gunfire and helicopters overhead, reminiscent of the massive anti-government protests in January that drove out Tunisian dictator Zine el Abidine Ben Ali.

More than a month later, Tunisia is still on edge. Sunday’s protesters were almost all young men. But demonstrations in recent days in front of the government’s headquarters about a mile away have drawn thousands of men and women of all ages and backgrounds. They have been calling for the interim government and parliament to be dissolved and an assembly elected that can write a new constitution.

Student Abdallah Ferjani, was at Sunday’s protest.  He says nothing has changed in Tunisia, despite two government reorganizations that ousted most members of the former ruling RCD Party. He believes Ben Ali’s regime largely remains in place.

Eighteen-year-old Mohammed Amin Abdelghaffar says the interim government just talks, but has not done anything.

On Friday, Tunisia’s caretaker government announced the country would hold elections in mid-July.

Activist, Unplugged from the Matrix. Action for Freedom!

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