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Tunisia caretaker leader asks PM to form government

The new interim Tunisian president asked Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi to form a unity government

AFP, Saturday 15 Jan 2011
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All Tunisians "without exception" will be able to take part in national politics, acting president Foued Mebazaa said Saturday after the ousting of authoritarian ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Mebazaa pledged to uphold pluralism and democracy and respect the constitution, after being sworn in as acting president.

He said outgoing prime minister Mohammed Ghannouchi would be tasked with forming a new government and underlined that "a unity government is necessary in the greater national interest."

"All Tunisians without exception and exclusion must be associated in the political process," he said after taking the oath.

Ben Ali signed a decree handing Ghannouchi interim presidential powers before flying out of Tunis Friday to refuge in Saudi Arabia following violent street protests intially sparked by joblessness.

However, in line with article 57 of the constitution, Mezabaa officially took over interim charge as speaker of parliament.
Under that article, fresh elections have to be held in two months.

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