Africa

Tunisia unity cabinet: Your views

  • 19 January 2011
  • From the section Africa
Men look at newspapers at a street kiosk in downtown Tunis, January 19, 2011
Image caption The constitution says a new presidential election must be held within 60 days

The national unity cabinet is reported to have postponed its first meeting amid a row over members of the previous regime holding key positions.

On Tuesday, four opponents of the ousted president, Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, quit the government in protest at the continued domination of his RCD party. In response, Interim President Fouad Mebazaa and Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi resigned from the former ruling party.

Here, BBC News website readers in Tunisia share their views on the future of the national unity government:

Inas Ghaieb, unemployed teacher in Tunis

I feel so proud of my country, of all Tunisians. This was a revolution by the people.

Most of the young people in Tunisia are educated, jobless but educated. I am doing my masters degree.

Europe shouldn't be afraid of democracy in Tunisia. All Tunisians are educated. I know some people are afraid of Islamic groups, but they don't have any popularity and are not extremists.

Also, to have real democracy you should include everyone and they should be able to participate. All Tunisians are aware of this - this was the problem with the previous government, they were excluded and didn't have any freedom of thought. They have a point of view and should be accepted as they are.

Some people don't like the fact that the national unity government includes members of the party of the former president, but I think they are clean and they haven't been involved in any kind of conspiracy.

We know that democracy will not be easy and that we will have problems. But we would like to have a new kind of government, one in which power does not belong to just one president. Presidents in Arab countries usually don't want to leave power.

We should have a new constitution which paves the way for governments as in France or Germany, that doesn't exclude and in which we can remove the government if we are not happy with it.

Zied Mhirsi, blogger and health professional

We have high hopes on the people who are representing civil society in this national unity government.

The only problem is the presence of the ruling party. They say that one or two ministries can be run by members of the old party because they are mainly technocrats. Yes, they may have clean hands, but they didn't catch up with the revolution and are still in the past.

The press conference given by the minister of interior is an example of this. He repeated the same old rhetoric from the old government.

But we are still hopeful because the government still has some people who have been in opposition for a long time and have a lot of credibility. The commissions against corruption and for political reform are also trusted by the people.

If this national unity government survives this whole week, it will survive. But it won't if ministers keep quitting.

Youssef Attig, former aid worker and now businessman in Tunis

We don't agree with the current government because if you look at it, four of them are members of the party which has been in power for decades. They still have deep roots in society, so no one trusts this government, we don't know what these people will do next.

I guess there will still be discussions from different parties about their conditions to stay in the unity government, demonstrations and a general strike until they change their position.

Until we have a new government, we need one that represents all tendencies, even the Islamists, because they have some support within the population.

We shouldn't satisfy the West by excluding them - they don't have a majority in the Tunisian population. The government keeps telling us that it's a threat, but we are a modern society. We are religious but not extremists.

We need a unity government that represents everyone but excludes the party who was in power. They didn't rule under a constitutional democracy, and I am afraid that they will continue to manipulate people.

Zouhair Khelifa, retired, Monastir

It's time now for people to let things settle down and give the new government a chance. Further protests everyday are now harming the country even more and more jobs will be lost.

Law and order need to be established, and children need to get back to school as too many of them are roaming the streets.

The problem is that we need some of the old faces while in transition as no one else has the experience as yet. They know what they are doing and it's not good to have a government with just brand new people.

The fear now is that the country will slip into anarchy.

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