Tunisia leader to have 'new powers'

2011-02-09 14:07
Tunis - Tunisia's Senate was called on Wednesday to grant wide powers to the interim president struggling to restore order to the country following the overthrow of ex-leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Caretaker Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi told the upper house ahead of a vote on the measure to follow the lead of the lower house of parliament which on Monday authorised interim president Foued Mebaza to rule by decree.

"We are coming under social pressure because of the demands of the people for improvements to their situation," he told the upper chamber session attended by 86 of the 126 elected members.

"But it has to be taken into account that the state is not yet capable of responding to all these demands. We do not have a magic wand."

If the measure is approved, Mebaza will be empowered to sidestep parliament made up mostly of followers of Ben Ali to decide key issues by decree relating notably to the transition to democracy and the holding of elections within six months.

The transitional government has banned Ben Ali's ruling party, the Constitutional Democratic Assembly, and accused loyalists of the former leader ousted on January 14 of attempting to foment unrest so as to block the transition to democracy.

Mass protests sparked partly by poverty and unemployment erupted across the country last month, resulting in Ben Ali's ouster. Pockets of unrest remain and police, closely associated with the hated Ben Ali regime, have played no role in restoring law and order.

On Tuesday the government called up reservists to bolster the army which has been carrying out security duties to help keep order.

Some 234 people have been killed during the unrest in Tunisia and 510 have been injured, an official source told AFP on Tuesday. The United Nations last week had put the figure at 219.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
Read more on:    zine el abidine ben ali  |  mohammed ghannouchi  |  egypt  |  north africa

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Boks take ‘no mercy’ approach
Burger to equal Bok RWC record
Japan victory attracts record TV figures
iPads the secret to Japanese RWC success
Traffic Alerts

It is time to focus on your daily rhythm. Are you putting too much attention on future projects and neglecting the day to day...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.