In an effort to calm the ever-growing street protests, Tunisian Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi has announced a new “national unity government” which will include a handful of approved “opposition” figures in relatively trivial positions.
The bulk of the “new” government will be the same, the prime minister, defense minister, interior, foreign and finance ministers are unchanged. The top position held by an opposition figure will be the “ministry of regional development.”
Still, long-time strongman President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali is gone, exiled to Saudi Arabia (with a large amount of gold bullion according to reports), and officials insist that elections will be held within six months.
The real question though is if the new elections will be any more credible than the past ones, which have seen all but the most demure opposition blocs banned from running. The pledges are clearly designed to calm the massive protests demanding change, but whether that change will come remains to be seen.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- European Union 'Stands Ready to Act' Over US Sanctions on Russia - July 24th, 2017
- Hezbollah: Border Fighting Against Nusra Is Almost Won - July 24th, 2017
- Israel Removes Metal Detectors From Around al-Aqsa Mosque - July 24th, 2017
- Egypt's Sisi Vows Qatar Blockade Will Continue - July 24th, 2017
- US Blames Failed Missile Test on Sailor Pushing 'The Wrong Button' - July 24th, 2017