First Published: 2011-04-26


Tunisia bans Ben Ali aides from standing in polls


Officials of Tunisia's former ruling party in past 10 years to be barred from standing in upcoming elections.


Middle East Online

'23 years was not logical'

TUNIS - Officials of Tunisia's former ruling party in the past 10 years will be barred from standing in elections on July 24, Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi announced Tuesday.

The time limit was cut from the 23 years some groups had asked for following the ouster in January of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who had ruled since 1987 and was toppled by a popular uprising.

Ben Ali's Constitutional Democratic Rally (RCD) was regarded as a pillar of the increasingly corrupt and repressive regime he led in the north African country, which has been replaced by a transitional government.

"After reflection, the government has adopted a 10-year limit. We decided that 23 years was not logical. There are officials of the RCD who were repressed by the former regime," Caid Essebsi told a press conference.

A high commission tasked with preparing the election of a constituent assembly had decided by a majority on April 12 that any RCD member from the full 23 years of Ben Ali's rule should be banned from future office, after a heated debate.

Caid Essebsi said that to get round this obstacle, interim President Foued Mebazaa would draw up a "list by name" of people who directly collaborated with Ben Ali, particularly in his presidential cabinet and among his close advisors.

This list will eventually be published, the acting prime minister said.

The chairman of the high commission, Yadh Ben Achour, said that only certain former officials in the RCD would be barred from becoming candidates to the constituent assembly.

Ben Achour last week told the French daily Le Monde that the decision "directly targets only members of the executive council, the central committee, the general secretaries of coordination committees and the heads of local party cells.

Caid Essebsi also confirmed that the transitional government supported mandatory parity for men and women on the electoral lists for the vote in July, with regulations to ensure that women were placed on the lists in positions where they could get elected.

"This is a revolutionary proposal. The chance for women to succeed in the coming elections is guaranteed, like for men," Caid Essebsi said.


Iran airs "confessions" of researcher facing death for spying

Mayor of Libya's Misrata assassinated

Macron sees war on IS in Syria will be won in February

Israeli air traffic halted due to strikes

Christmas in Jordan dimmed by Jerusalem crisis

Turkey prosecutor seeks release of German reporter

Kuwait likely to face political uncertainty

Lebanon arrests suspected killer of British embassy worker

Israel targets Hamas site in Gaza

Turkey slams Austria ‘discrimination’

Iran's schools suffocate in smog

Tunisia elections delayed

Istanbul summit strong on the rhetoric, weak on concrete steps

Two Danes stabbed by man shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’ in Gabon

Morocco’s Islamists elect new leader, walking away from predecessor’s populism

UN considers rejecting Trump Jerusalem decision

Palestinians call for protests against Pence Jerusalem visit

Palestinian billionaire detained in Saudi Arabia

Egypt opens Rafah crossing for four days

Turkey court releases 7 suspects in New Year attack trial

Palestinian activist killed in Gaza protests

Foreign fighters a worry as IS struggles to survive

Over half Syrian refugees in Lebanon live in 'extreme poverty'

Palestinians killed in continuing protests over Jerusalem occupation

Bourita: Extraordinary meeting between ECOWAS, Morocco to be held beginning of 2018

Saudi-led air strikes, clashes as Yemen forces battle rebels

Sahel force funding shows terrorism fight is Saudi 'priority'

UN 'appalled' at mass execution of jihadists in Iraq

Iraq's Sistani says Hashed should be under government control

Middle-class Egypt adapts as costs soar

Somalia's budget meets IMF terms

Israel PM questioned in graft probe

US says Iran supplied ballistic missile to Yemen rebels

Lebanon approves bid for oil, gas exploration

US to present 'irrefutable evidence' of Iran violations

Istanbul 'to remove Gulen links' from street names

Iraq hangs 38 jihadists

Pence to visit Middle East despite controversy

Hamas chief calls for continued Jerusalem protests

EU to repatriate 15,000 migrants from Libya in two months

Syria Kurds fear US ally will desert them after IS defeat

Israeli drugmaker Teva to cut 14,000 jobs over two years

Turkey rescues 51 migrants stranded on rocks

Saudi, UAE hold talks with Yemen Islamists

18 killed after bomber strikes Mogadishu police academy