Tunisian interim president names new PM

08:15, February 28, 2011      

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Tunisia's interim president Fouad Mebazaa on Sunday named former minister Beji Caid-Essebsi as the country's new prime minister shortly after Mohammed Ghannouchi resigned from his position.

The 85-year-old new prime minister had served as a defense and interior minister under Bourguiba.

Mohammed Ghannouchi resigned from his prime minister's position earlier Sunday as he had long been accused by protestors of "being too close" to the toppled regime of Ben Ali.

"I have decided to quit as prime minister," Ghannouchi told a news conference, adding "this resignation will serve Tunisia, and the revolution and the future of Tunisia."

The protestors who come from all of the country's regions vowed to pursue their sit-in despite the cold weather and rain, until their demands are satisfied, reported the official press agency TAP.

Their sit-in which started last Sunday, culminated on Friday when more than 100,000 people joined them at the Kasbah. Over the weekend, violent protests rocked the Tunisian capital, claiming the lives of 5 people.They were provided with food and blankets by people from the greater Tunis area. Their demands include the resignation of the interim government, the dissolution of both chambers of parliament and the election of an constitutive council in charge of running the country's affairs until the next legislative and presidential elections.

On Thursday, the government's spokesman, Taieb Baccouche, announced that the elections will be held in mid-July.

Source: Xinhua

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