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Tunisian PM takes over presidency

01-15-2011 09:15 BJT

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Tunisia's Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi has announced that he 's taken over the interim government. The announcemet has come after President Ben Ali fled the country after 23 years in power.

Tunisia's political crisis has entered a critical phase.

After weeks of violent protests forced out president Ben Ali, Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi assumed power.

He invoked article 56 of the constitution which stipulates that the prime minister will become the caretaker in case the president is temporarily incapacitated.

Mohammed Ghannouchi, Tunisia's Prime Minister, said, "As the president is not able to exercise his duties, I will take over as acting President and I ask the people of Tunisia from all perspectives; the political and intellectual and from all directions, to hold on to our national spirit and for unity to enable our dear country to get through this difficult period, to regain its security and stability. "

Ben Ali left the country earlier Friday afternoon following massive demonstrations demanding his resignation. His earlier concessions that he would not run for another term in 2014, dissolving the government and the promise of early elections, were not enough to quell protestors' anger.

To cope with spreading unrest, on Thursday, authorities declared a state of emergency.

Tunisian airspace has been closed and the military has taken control of the country's airports.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is urging leaders in Tunisia to act with restraint.

Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General, said, "I have been very closely following the situation in Tunisia with concern. Now, I'm saddened by the loss of life, and call again for restraint in the use of force and full respect for freedom of expression and association."

Triggered by rising food costs and rampant unemployment, the unrest which has plagued the North African country for four weeks, has left dozens dead.



Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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