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regarded as a pillar of the increasingly corrupt and repressive regime he led in the north African country, which has been replaced by a transitional government.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.


Moscow seeks to boost its influence in Kurdistan through oil

Tillerson does not expect Gulf crisis to be resolved soon

35 Egyptian police killed in Islamist ambush

How Raqa recapture affects complex Syrian war

Ancient Turkish town set to vanish forever under floodwaters

Morocco recalls Algeria envoy over 'hashish money' jibe

Ceremony marks 75 years since WWII Battle of El Alamein

Somalia attack death toll rises to 358

Long road ahead for families of jailed Morocco protesters

Israel hits Syrian artillery after Golan fire

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup

Bashir Gemayel's killer convicted, 35 years later

SDF hails 'historic victory' against IS in Raqa

Hamas delegation visits Iran

Turkish court orders release of teacher on hunger strike

Yemen rebel youth minister urges children to join war

Iran's Guards show no intention of curbing activities in Mideast

EU will cut some money for Turkey as ties sour

Iraqi workers return to oil fields retaken from Kurds

Kurdish disarray shows resurgence of Iraq's army

Iranian military chief visits frontline near Syria's Aleppo

Iraq army takes last Kurd-held area of Kirkuk province

Turkey issues arrest warrants for 110 people over Gulen links

Lebanon approves first budget since 2005

Hamas calls US unity comments ‘blatant interference’

OPEC chief pleased with oil market rebalancing

Turkish police detain leading civil society figure

G7, tech giants meet to tackle terror online

Iraq’s Kurdish regional government open to Baghdad talks

Tensions flare among Yemen's rebels

Baghdad court issues arrest warrant for Iraqi Kurd VP

Erdogan, Nigerian counterpart to ramp up cooperation

Russian medics operate on Yemen's Saleh despite embargo

Baghdad condemns oil deal between Russia’s Rosneft, Kurds

Power shifts again in Iraq's multi-ethnic Kirkuk

Syrian general accused of journalist deaths killed in Deir Ezzor

Raqa liberators ready for civilian handover, on to next battle

Revolutionary Guards say Iranian missile program will continue

Erdogan calls on three major mayors to resign

ICC investigating several war crimes in Mali

Erdogan says may shut Iraqi border at any moment

Tunisian couple jailed for 'public indecency' over car kiss

Next round of Syria talks at end October

Gazans hope Palestinian reconciliation ends their woes

PSG's Khelaifi to be quizzed in Swiss World Cup probe