22 Jan 2011

"National salvation" cabinet wanted in Tunisia

8:33 am on 22 January 2011

The main trade union in Tunisia has called for the government appointed after the overthrow of President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali, to be replaced by a cabinet not linked with his regime.

On Tuesday the General Tunisian Workers Union withdrew from the interim administration, led by Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi.

AFP reports the UGTT wants a national salvation cabinet.

Mr Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on 14 January, following a wave of demonstrations.

Mr Ghannouchi has since left the RCD party saying the government needed clean hands, but also said the transition to democracy needed experienced politicians.

Three days of mourning are being held to honour those who died in the unrest that led to Mr Ben Ali's fall.

At least 78 people have been killed since the protests began in December.

The BBC reports the government has faced continuing protests against RDC figures remaining in positions of power.

Last week four opposition ministers quit the cabinet the day after it was formed over the issue.

The RCD has also dissolved its central committee.

The cabinet has promised to release all political prisoners and said previously banned political groups will now be legal.

It has also pledged to hold free elections within six months, but has given no dates.