18 Jan 2011

Tunisian PM names unity government

4:54 pm on 18 January 2011

A national unity government has been formed in Tunisia, days after a popular revolt ousted the president.

Incumbent Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi, who will lead the new government, said all political parties will be allowed to operate, political prisoners will be freed and the media permitted total freedom.

Anyone suspected of corruption would be investigated, he said.

The foreign, interior and defence ministers retained their jobs, the BBC says, while several opposition figures joined the government, which is to prepare the country for elections.

Earlier, police used water cannon, tear gas and gunshots to disperse demonstrators calling for the party of ousted President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali to relinquish power.

The country has been in a state of emergency since Mr Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on Friday.