Tunisia interim president, PM quit ruling party

09:17, January 19, 2011      

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Protestors run away as police use tear gas during a demonstration against Tunisia's ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally party (RCD) in the center of Tunis, Jan. 18. 2011. Tunisian interim president Foued Mebazaa and Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi quit the RCD Tuesday reported official TAP news agency. In the meantime, the RCD announced Tuesday to expel ousted former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali and six of his close associates from the party. (Xinhua/Nasser Nouri)

Tunisian interim president Foued Mebazaa and Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi quit Tunisia's ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally party (RCD) Tuesday, official TAP news agency reported.

The move is in implementation of the decision announced by Ghannouchi on Monday relative to the separation between state organs and political parties, TAP said.

Later in the day, several members of the newly set-up unity government took the oath before interim President Foued Mebazaa.

Previously, the Ettajdid movement whose secretary-general is part of the country's unity government, issued a communique on Tuesday asking for the resignation of all RCD ministers from the RCD, the freezing of the bank accounts and properties it owns, as well as the dissolution of the RCD's professional cells within companies.

Ettajdid adds that if its requests are not rapidly satisfied, it will review its participation in the unity government.

Three ministers belonging to the Tunisian Labor Union (UGTT) also resigned from the unity government on Tuesday, arguing the overwhelming presence of RCD members in the newly named government.

On its part, in a communique on Tuesday, the RCD announced that following an enquiry carried out within the party, it has decided to remove from the party ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, as well as a number of prominent RCD members.

Thousands of Tunisians flooded the streets of capital Tunis on Tuesday to protest against the new-born interim government, protesting the inclusion of RCD members in the new government.

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