Overlooked Tunisian parties dismiss unity government


Tunisian opposition parties overlooked in the country’s new interim government have strongly criticised the decision to include members of ousted president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s cabinet in the transitional authority.


Six members of Ben Ali’s Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) were among the 19 ministers unveiled by Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi on Monday.

Moncef Marzouki, whose Congress for the Republic (CPR) party was banned under Ben Ali’s 23-year-long-rule, branded the new line-up a “masquerade”.

The secular leftist, who is now living in exile in Paris, said Tunisia “deserved much more.”

"Ninety dead, four weeks of real revolution, only for it to come to this?,” he told France’s I-Tele TV station. “It’s a unity government in name only because, in reality, it is made up of members of the party of dictatorship, the RCD.”

Marzouki has already signalled his intention to run in the next presidential election.

Yusra Ghannouchi, Ennadha Party spokesperson

Meanwhile, the main Islamist party has also spoken out against the nature of the interim government.

Ennahdha, which was banned under Ben Ali, was not invited to join the coalition.

“What we’ve seen really from this new – or supposedly new – coalition government is exactly the same old faces,” Yusra Ghannouchi, spokesperson for Ennadha, told RFI.

“What appears to be happening is simply a game of musical chairs, where the same opposition movements and the same RCD individuals are being moved around in different positions.”

“These people do not have any credibility in the eyes of the Tunisian people," she continued. "The protest movements that happened were geared specifically to changing the regime as a whole.”

Ghannouchi said her party wanted to see anyone implicated in “the decades of corruption and repression” to be excluded from the government so that they could be held accountable.

She said several other parties that had been banned were also omitted from the unity government.

“These are the unofficial opposition movements who refused to take part in a dictatorial game that Ben Ali played, whereby he created his own parliament and handpicked people to create a façade of democracy which he could give to the outside world.

“The people who have been picked are those people who are willing to play this game with Ben Ali and now they are being rewarded by Mr Ghannouchi.”

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