New York May 8,
By Rawlinsview and Press Agencies.
Reports by Reuters, Al Jazeera, AFP the BBC and Voice of America News indicate that, following three days of protests Tunisia’s interim government has declared a curfew in the capital city of Tunis and surrounding areas. The protests began on Thursday May 6 following a veiled threat by former interior minister Farhat Rajhi that elements loyal to the ousted government of President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali might stage a coup d’etat if Islamist groups were successful in obtaining a majority in upcoming elections scheduled for July. Ben Ali’s government was ousted by mass protests in January of this year. He is currently living in exile in Saudi Arabia.
“We are here to demand the departure of this government, which is dishonest. We want them to step down so we can have a government whose members are just at the service of the people.”
said demonstrator Sonia Briki. as quoted in the May 7 Reuters article. Tunisian police battle anti-government protesters
The Tunisia Press Agency reported
Security forces violently disperse peaceful demonstration in Tunis
TUNIS, May 7, 2011 (TAP)
A large number of demonstrators gathered, on Saturday, in front of the Municipal Theatre of Tunis, shouting slogans hostile to the Government and denouncing the aggressions committed by security forces against protesters during the demonstrations staged in Tunis over the past two days.
Demonstrators headed to the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior, calling for the departure of Interior Minister Habib Essid whom he held responsible for the violent aggressions of the police against demonstrators.
These protests took place against a backdrop of statements made by the former Interior Minister Farhat Rajhi.
Meanwhile the Tunisian government has protested as military incursions from the civil war in Libya have repeatedly crossed into Tunisian territory.
The Tunisian News Agency ran the following story.
Interim Government reiterates forceful condemnation of repeated violations of Tunisian territorial integrity
TUNIS, May 7, 2011 (TAP) – The Interim Government reasserted, on Saturday, its strong condemnation of the continuous and dangerous violations of the Tunisian territorial integrity by the Libyan forces, at the Dhehiba border crossing, with new mortar shells from Libya falling into the Tunisian territory, stressing the menace these incidents represent for the security of the citizens and the country’s infrastructure.
As NATO and the United States continue to intervene in the civil war in the neighboring North African country Libya and increasingly seek ways to directly arm fund and support forces opposed to the Libyan government of Moammar Ghadaffi. The question is rising as to what will be the base of political power for the new government in Tunisia following the July elections and to what extent will working people be able to move in a direction that supports their own interests.