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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: http://www.humanite.fr/27_02_2011-s...

by H. Z.

Under pressure from the street, “out with” Mohamed Ghannouchi

Translated Thursday 3 March 2011, by Rebecca Watson and reviewed by Henry Crapo

Demanded since the beginning of the revolution, the resignation of the Tunisian prime minister came the day after the fiercest protests since the fall of Ben Ali

“I have decided to resign from the position of prime minister (…) I will not be a prime minister of repression. I’m not the kind of person who will make decisions that would result in casualties,” Mohammed Ghannouchi explained on Sunday, a day after violent clashes left three people dead and several dozens injured.

Ghannouchi returned to his post on January 17 to lead a “government of national union” three days after the fall of Ben Ali. He was then named prime minister a second time after the government reorganised on January 27 following the departure of ministers belonging to the CDR (Constitutional Democratic Rally, the party formerly in power). Ghannouchi was prime minister of the new Tunisia for little more than a month and a half.

Neither the man nor the government he led had unanimous support. A section of the opposition and the majority of Tunisians continued to call for the departure of Ghannouchi and the government he led in favour of a transitional government. This transitional government would oversee the establishment of a Constitutional Assembly, to be tasked with drawing up a new Constitution with a view to organising presidential and general elections, and the dissolution of institutions inherited from the old system (parliament, the CDR and the political police).

The resignation of the prime minister comes 48 hours after Friday’s demonstration, which was attended by more than 100,000 people and the most significant Tunisia has seen since the fall of Ben Ali. “Out with Ghannouchi” and “Revolution until victory” chanted the demonstrators before several thousand of them converged near the Ministry of the Interior, Avenue Bourguiba, only to be brutally dispersed by the police. On Saturday and Sunday new demonstrations took place in the city centre. Three police stations were sacked. The outcome: three people were killed and scores injured.

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