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Tunisia: Reconciliation Between the People and the Government?

This post is part of our special coverage of Tunisia Revolution 2011.

Tunisia's interim president Fouad Mebazaa addressed the public, promising a complete break with the old regime, yesterday (March 3, 2011). He announced that on July 24, the people will choose their representatives by electing a national constitutional assembly which will rewrite the constitution. Electing a constitutional assembly was among the key demands of protesters sitting in at the Kasbah square in Tunis. This enormous step came after a bloody weekend in Tunisia, in which five people lost their lives during clashes with the security forces, and the resignation of former interim Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannoushi.

Many welcomed this decision, considering it as a victory for the people and a real move towards democracy.
Abdallah Belakhoua (@Abdallah_B) tweets:

AUJOURD'HUI PLUS QUE JAMAIS, SOYONS FIER! L'HOMME TUNISIEN DICTE SES LOIS PAR SA PROPRE VOIX! MAINTENEZ LE CAP! TUNISIE BRAVO KASBAH

Today and more than ever, we can be proud. Tunisians impose laws through their voices. Carry on Tunisia! Good job Kasbah

Riadh Hadj Hassine(@HadjHassine) tweets:

شكراً لمعتصمي القصبة فلولا اصرارهم وصمودهم لبقيت ثورتنا في منتصف الطريق

Thanks for the protesters who have been sitting in at the Kasbah square. Without your determination, our revolution would not have reached the end of the road

Following the televised speech of Fouad Mebazaa, demonstrators at the Kasbah square decided to suspend the sit-in.

Nadia, a Tunisian blogger writes:

L’annonce hier par le président intérimaire Foued Mbazaa d’une feuille de route pour préparer les élections d’une assemblée constituante le 24 juillet prochain a signé le début d’une nouvelle étape dans la révolution tunisienne, un peu plus d’un mois et demi après le départ de l’ex-président tunisien Zine El Abidine Ben Ali du pouvoir. Il s’agit là d’un premier aboutissement palpable de cette révolution, car pour la première fois les étapes sont clairement annoncées avec une façon de procéder et des dates précises.

Yesterday, the interim president Foued Mbazaa announced a roadmap to prepare for the elections of a constitutional assembly on July 24. The step has declared the beginning of a new stage, almost one month and a half after the departure of Zine El-Abbidine Ben Ali. This is the first concrete outcome of the revolution because, for the first time, the stages have been announced clearly with a method of carrying them out, and fixed dates.

Following, the televised speech of Foued Mbazaa, protesters at the Kasbah square decided to suspend the sit-in. The demonstrators left the square with a mood of celebration and hopefulness, but they declared that they will be ready to come back for another sit-in whenever the transition towards democracy will be put at risk.


Protestors cleaning the square before leaving

The Press conference held by new interim Prime Minister Beji Caid Sebsi was also welcomed by the public and received with relief.

The interim PM promised that in two days a new government will be formed and that his priority will be to “restore order.” He also accused the ousted president of committing “treason by leaving the country without a farewell” and described the former regime “gang of saboteurs.”

Many see in Sebsi the spirit of the former Tunisian Leader and first president Hbib Bourguiba.
Marwa(@chemorg) tweets:

je sais pas pour vous mais Sebsi m'a rappelé Bourguiba; franchise , spontanéité et humour

I don't know what do you think, but I see Bourguiba in Sebsi: frankness, spontaneity and, humour

Tunisien Libre writes:

Aujourd'hui, le discours de Mr Sebsi a prouvé à tout le monde qu'il n'y a pas que Mr Ghannouchi qui peut gérer le pays… Certes, et comme je l'ai toujours dit, nul ne peut nier que Mr Ghannouchi est un homme intègre et compétent, mais dans ces conditions, il nous fallait un vrai politicien, et c'est justement ce que nous avons maintenant… Un homme expérimenté, qui peut s'adresser au peuple sans complexes et qui sait prendre et assumer ses décisions… Je sens que là maintenant on commence à prendre de vrais pas vers la liberté et la démocratie…

Today,the address of Mr. Sebsi has proved to all that there is not only Mr. Ghannoushi who can manage the country's affairs…Certainly, Mr. Ghannoushi is an honest and skilled man, but in these conditions, we need a real politician, and that's what we have now…An experienced man, who can address the people, take and assume his decisions…I can feel that right now we have started to take real steps towards liberty and democracy..

Jamila Hentati(@mkojamila) tweets:

LA TUNISIE PARLE DU DISCOURS DE MR EL BEJI EL SEBSI “ON EST OPTIMISTE AUJOURD'HUI

The buzz in Tunisia is the discourse of Mr. Beji Sebsi. we are hopeful today

Pricelessfreedom(@freedomtun) tweets:

I SAY TO MR SEBSI IF YOU MEAN WHAT YOU SAID THEN WE ARE WITH YOU .WE'LL WAIT AND SEE

This was the spontaneous reaction of a Tunisian woman to Sebsi's press conference(@dima_rekcha)

ammoureuse de M. Béji Caïd Sebsi!!!

I'm in love with Mr. Sebsi!!!

This post is part of our special coverage of Tunisia Revolution 2011.

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