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Image: Hassene Dridi/AP

It's not just Ireland... Tunisian PM steps down

Tunisia’s Prime Minister says he’ll quit politics as soon as elections are held to appoint a new government to succeed him.
Jan 23rd 2011, 12:17 PM 223 0

THE PRIME MINISTER of Tunisia has announced he will quit politics for good as soon as a general election can be held to appoint a new cabinet, in a move aimed at ending weeks of riots and public tensions in his country.

Mohamed Ghannouchi, who was the prime minister under president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, had remained on as the head of an interim cabinet while new elections were organised – but his continuity in power has failed to ease tensions in the African nation.

As a result, in a late-night address on Friday, Ghannouchi said he would “stop all my political activity after my period leading the transitional government.”

Ghannouchi also vowed to use his remaining time in office to repeal any ‘undemocratic’ laws introduced under Ben Ali, and insisted that the upcoming elections would be completely transparent.

“After this transitional period — with all honesty — I will leave any political role I have even if I was selected or appointed,” CNN quotes. “I will leave political life and retire.”

Ghannouchi’s interim administration – a unity cabinet comprised of members from all the country’s major parties – has failed to capture the imagination of the Tunisian public, and has been rocked by five resignations from within a week, from members of parties unwilling to serve alongside any members of Ben Ali’s Constitutional Democratic Rally party.

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Gavan Reilly

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