Prime Minister Claims Power in Tunisia as President Flees – NYTimes.com

 

 

via Prime Minister Claims Power in Tunisia as President Flees – NYTimes.com.

TUNIS — President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia has left the country amid growing chaos in the streets, French diplomats say, and the prime minister went on state television Friday night to say he is in charge.

The rioter have accomplished their goal – the president-for-life has fled the country. 

The anti-government protests began a month ago when a college- educated street vendor burned himself to death in protest of his dismal prospects amid Tunisia’s poverty.

They quickly escalated into calls for political reform in this close ally of the US. 

The crowd was notably middle-class, including young doctors and lawyers and other professionals. Some identified themselves as the “Bourguiba generation” — young people who benefited from free higher education and other social welfare policies instituted under Tunisia’s first post-independence president, Habib Bourguiba.

The French government and the United States State Department cautioned against all non-essential travel to the North African country.

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