News24

Tunisia unconcerned over Ben Ali

2011-02-19 12:06

Tunis - The condition of exiled president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali after he fell into a coma is not a concern of Tunisia's new government, a spokesperson said on Friday, as it tries to cut all ties with the past.

The 74-year-old former leader is being treated in a Saudi hospital after slipping into a coma following a stroke.

"I can tell you that the state of the ex-president's health is not the transitional government's business," declared government spokesperson Taieb Baccouch, who is also education minister.

Trade and Tourism Minister Mehdi Houas also said: "The state of Ben Ali's health was mentioned in a cabinet meeting but it didn't last 10 seconds. His condition does not concern the government which has other priorities."

Ben Ali, who fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14 following deadly protests against his 23-year-old authoritarian regime, is in a serious condition, according to a family friend.