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Tunisian PM unveils new cabinet

Tunisian interim Premier Mohammed Ghannouchi has unveiled radical changes to the cabinet line-up, but says that he will keep his post.

Ghannouchi said on Thursday that five key ministers from the previous government have been replaced by new ministers, in a move deemed to be aimed at putting an end to daily protests in the country.

The crucial defense, foreign and interior ministry posts were replaced with new figures.

Tunisia’s new foreign minister will be Ahmed Ounais — a 75-year-old career diplomat serving as Tunisia’s ambassador to Moscow and New Delhi.

“This is a temporary government with a clear mission — to allow a transition to democracy. Its mission is to organize elections in which the people will be completely free to choose,” Ghannouchi said in his address.

The previous foreign minister, Kamel Morjane, had resigned earlier on Thursday from the country’s interim government, reported the official press agency, TAP.

Protesters had called for the resignation of the entire cabinet lead by Ghannouchi who served under Tunisia’s ousted ruler Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

Ben Ali fled to Saudi Arabia on January 14, sparked by protests and riots, in a regime change which ended the dictator’s 23 years of power.

Thousands of protesters have kept up their daily rallies in the streets of Tunisia, calling for old regime politicians to be swept from power and for the abolition of Ben Ali’s Constitutional Democratic Rally party.

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