2011-02-27 Beji Caid Essebsi New Interim PM of #Tunisia

WL Central will be updating news on Tunisia, with new items added at the top. You can contact me on twitter @kgosztola or by email at kgosztola@hotmail.com.

The current date and time in Tunis, Tunisia:

SUNDAY, February 27

Image8:59 PM Photo of demonstrator running from tear gas in Tunis

Beji Caid Essebsi is now the interim PM of Tunisia. Here is his biography posted on the French Wikipedia. (It can be translated with Google.)

What will likely be most focused on in the world is this:

[He] rejoined the government as Minister Delegate to the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs on 15 April 1981 , he held the position until 15 September 1986 . During these six years, he faces several crises, including the arrival of Palestinian fighters - driven out of Beirut - at Bizerte in 1982 , the bombing of the headquarters of the PLO in Hammam Chott (south of Tunis) by the army Israeli Air ( Operation Wooden Leg ) in 1985 , not to mention the constant mood of Muammar Qaddafi 2 . The high point of his career as head of the diplomacy of Tunisia remains the vote on UN resolution 3 condemning the Israeli aggression against Tunisia 4 .

He is referred to as Kingpin Essebsi. If you click on the individual whom he is the great-grandson of (Ismail Caid Essebsi), it seems he comes from family with a level of aristocratic roots in Tunisia. It is unlikely this works for the revolution, but this should be understood: This is a transitional government. The revolution may have to settle for a techno- or aristocrat and then push for elections to be sooner. They may be better off focusing on getting open, free and fair elections and ensuring those elections are held and that the interim PM does not keep power past July.

All the tension and conflict just makes leaders uneasy and prolongs the process of developing Tunisian society to be more democratic.

WL Central's Cablegate farewell to Interim PM Ghannouchi

How young people in Egypt and Tunisia are showing they know and understand more about democracy than the Western powers of the world

4:16 PM Interim PM Mohamed Ghannouchi announces resignation, another demand of the Tunisia revolution is met A press conference which just aired was held. Much of the consensus on Twitter was that he was recounting the past days that he had been in power. There was a hint that he was going to be stepping down and then he announced his resignation formally.

GlobalNet reported on the resignation before the formal announcement: "Prime minister throws in the towel after the call to his execution started last night (Saturday), with shocking violence, on national television live without this person does respond, nor the journalist on the set, nor direction of television, neither civil society nor the law. Furthermore, a report released yesterday evening by Hannibal shows one of the participants in sit-in al-Kasbah calling "Ghannouchi judging by people's courts".

This government was announced on January 27. It is the second dissolution of an interim government. This

GlobalNet suggests, "Fouad Mebazaa, President of the Republic acting, could accept the resignation of Ghannouchi, instructing him to propose the composition of a third interim government. Second hypothesis, he could accept his resignation, naming a new Prime Minister, who will be entrusted the task to propose a third transitional government."

After resignation in Tunis, a celebration -


Dima_Khatib tweets, "Tunisians downtown Tunis are asking for a constituent assembly to rewrite the constitution #Tunisia #Sidibouzid" Here is a live stream of the celebration of Ghannouchi's resignation.

Shemsfm.net with this report on the day's protests:

The protesters gathered at the Kasbah demand the resignation of Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi received today the visit of Hamma Hammami, spokesperson for the Communist Workers Party of Tunisia, came with a group of activists to talk to protesters. Hammami called the "fall of the dictatorial regime after the fall of the dictator."

Violence in downtown Tunis Sunday afternoon. We’ll have more coverage as reports on the day’s action surface.

freedomtunisia tweets, “Live : Forte mobilisation des jeunes révolutionnaires au centre ville de Tunis. Notre guerre contre la dictature de Ghannouchi,” which translates to, “Live strong mobilization of young revolutionaries in downtown Tunis against the dictatorship of Mohamed Ghannouchi”

Euronews report on Sunday protests in Tunisia

A report from a revolution Facebook page: A "sister" on the page is described as reporting that her boyfriend has been detained and questioned by "agents of the Interior." It happened when he was filming what was going on in Avenue Habib Bourguiba. They asked for his name, title and his card number. He was released but it appears that as of a few hours ago he cannot be found.

Great photos of women protesting and taking the revolution to the next level.

6:16 AMTunisians to hold a sit-in to bring down the remaining regime elements at 8 am tomorrow. Those who have started this intend to keep coming back for months until what is necessary is accomplished. The government is illegal to a number of Tunisians and some are mobilizing a general strike and civil disobedience to continue to advance a revolution.

On a Tunisia revolution Facebookpage is this photo and then a discussion of Chapter 23 of the Constitution. A discussion is raised on the premise that a peaceful sit-in in Casbah was held. The government provoked clashes and intends to do so because chaos and anarchy will make it possible to fully implement Chapter 23, which “says the government remains” or an interim can be made a permanent government. This seems to be a chief fear of Tunisians that what is in place could be made permanent. [The current Tunisia Constitution.]

More photos and video from Saturday, February 26.

Posted by 3arabawy, here’s video of today’s clampdown on protesters in Tunisia

Tunisia State TV censors an interview, cuts away to an orchestra

Reuters reports on a strike at State TV news in Tunisia:

Hundreds of journalists and technicians from Tunisia's state-run television broadcaster have gone on strike over what they said was continued government censorship of their dispatches.

The strike reflects growing public frustration in North Africa's most developed state over the sluggish pace of change since an uprising toppled President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali last month.

"We are on strike demanding an end to all the pressure and to stop the censorship, and to allow us to work freely ... We will not accept restrictions anymore," one of the striking journalists told Reuters, asking not to be named.

"The strike will not stop until those responsible go and we can work freely and independently," another said.

Video of a shot dead Tunisia demonstrator (Warning: graphic)

Al Jazeera English reports on the deaths in Tunisia:

An interior ministry official, who declined to be named, told the Reuters news agency that the deaths had occurred after a riot orchestrated by loyalists of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the ousted president.

"Those who were arrested have admitted they were pushed by former Ben Ali officials," he said. "Others said they were paid to do it."

On Friday, tens of thousands of protesters had taken to the streets demanding the resignation of Mohamed Ghannouchi, the country's interim prime minister, who was part of the regime of Ben Ali, who fled the country on January 14.

The interior ministry statement said more than 100 people were arrested on Saturday and 88 people had been arrested on Friday.

It blamed the clashes on "agitators" who it said had infiltrated the peaceful demonstrations.

They had used students "as human shields to carry out violent acts, fires aimed at sowing terror among the people and targeting the internal security forces," the statement said.

Elections are to be held in mid-July. Will Tunisians be willing to wait that long?

PRESS TV video report:

Washington Post article on Tunisian volunteers going to Libya The crisis is moving Tunisians to show an incredible amount of solidarity and band together to help Libyans fleeing the country. Here’s the real moving part:

Tunisian support for the opposition in Libya predates the worst of the violence there. Tunisian bloggers and youth organizations that used social networking Web sites to organize their domestic campaigns have been offering advice to their Libyan counterparts. In text messages, e-mails and Skype chats, they have acted as advisers, suggesting, for instance, that the opposition in Libya send out tweets and carry protest signs in English and French, as well as Arabic, to garner more international attention.

"Young people in Tunisia have a campaign going to support the Libyans, distributing any pictures and images and counseling them on how to get their information out," said Zouhir Latif, a Tunisian documentary filmmaker and dissident who is working with youth organizations. "The move to free Libya has become a cause deep in the hearts of Tunisians. It is a fundamental part of the freedoms being won from throwing off dictators here and in Egypt."

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