Transitional unity government declared in Tunisia
Tunisia announced Monday a transitional unity government which will prepare for elections and immediately announced the release of political prisoners and new media freedoms. The government, presided over by Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi, also abolished the information ministry and lifted a ban on the country's main human rights group, the Tunisian League for Human Rights.
According to AFP, the new government includes three members of the opposition and several key ministers from the cabinet of toppled President Ben Ali, including Foreign Minister Kamal Morjane.
Tunisian presidential and parliamentary elections are to be held within 60 days, but the opposition says it could take up to six months to organize a democratic vote.
Meanwhile, UN chief Ban Ki-moon urged Tunisian authorities "to ensure a prompt restoration of the rule of law", while the European Union said it was ready to offer "immediate" help to organise free and fair elections. "Tunisia wants to be a stable democracy, in full respect of fundamental rights and freedoms. It wants free and fair, inclusive elections. We will support Tunisia in their endeavours to achieve this," EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said.
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