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Tunisia: Bloggers Angry at Interim Interior Minister Sacking

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

Tunisian bloggers are outraged over the sacking of Interim Interior Minister Farhat Rajhi today. In a surprise move, he was replaced by Hbib El-Seed.

During the protests that had swept the country from mid December last year, demonstrators chanted “The Interior Ministry is a terrorist ministry.” When Rajhi was named Interior Minister, contempt towards the ministry started to ease. Indeed, during the two months he was acting as the Interior Minister, he managed to gain back the trust of the people with his transparency, his efforts to respond to the demands of the people and his humorous character.

In his first days in office, Rajhi fired 45 corrupt high-level officials. He also responded to two key popular demands – the dissolution of both the RCD, the former ruling party associated with repression and corruption, and the Secret Police. He then helped bring order and stability after the state of anarchy Tunisia was thrown in following the ouster of former Tunisian president Zeine Al Abedine Ben Ali. Despite Rajhi's achievements popularity as an Interior minister, it remains unclear why he was dismissed.

Bloggers Praising Farhat Rajhi:

Bloggers received the news with shock and confusion as the mystery of why Farhat Rajhi was dismissed continues.
Nizar Toumi was very mad at the interim Prime Minister Beji Caed Sebsi for taking the decision to dismiss Rajhi. He writes:

فرحات الرّاجحي قد أخذ على عاتقه تلبية مطالب الشّعب التّونسي تناغما مع ثورته المجيدة و اتّخذ خطوات عمليّة في وزارته متحمّلا مسؤوليته في إدارة هذه الوزارة فقام بالتنسيق مع رئاسة أركان الجيش بالقبض على بعض رموز الفساد و إقالة بعض قيادات الأجهزة الأمنية و أصدر تعليماته للأمن بعدم الاعتداء على المواطنين ، و حظر عمل التّجمّع نهائيّا و تقدّم بقضيّة في حلّه و مصادرة ممتلكاته ، و حلّ البوليس السّياس ه
Farhat Rajhi's heavy burden was to meet the demands of the people, in response to their glorious revolution. He took practical steps and he was responsible in managing the affairs of his ministry and coordinated with the Chief of Army Staff to arrest some of the symbols of corruption, dismissing a number of the security services’ high officials, and ordering the security forces not to assault citizens. He also banned all activities of the RCD (the former ruling party), presented a case to the court to dissolve the RCD and froze all of its properties, and brought an end to the Secret Police (…)

He adds:

و لمّا جاء “هيبة الدّولة” منعه من المبادرة و من الاتّصال بوسائل الإعلام بدعوى أنّ النّاطق باسم الحكومة هو الوحيد المخوّل له الإدلاء بالتّصريحات ، و منع من اتّخاذ أيّ قرار منفردا و وقع إلزامه فقط بتطبيق قرارات الحكومة “هيبة الدّولة” ، ثمّ طُلب منه القبض على ناشطي الفيس بوك … و لم يفعل … فوقعت إقالته ، فرحات الرّاجحي كان بمثابة الجلد بالنّسبة للجسد ، الحاجز الأوّل لحمايته من الجراثيم

And when the “State's Prestige” became Prime Minister ( In his first press conference, PM Beji Caed Sebsi said that among his priorities is to bring back to the Tunisian state its “prestige”), he banned Farhat Rajhi from contacting the media using the pretext that issuing public statements lies in the hands of the spokesman of the government. He was also prohibited from taking individual decisions, and he was only obliged to carry out the decisions taken by the government of “the State's prestige”. Then, he was asked to arrest Facebook activists…but he refused… so he was sacked. Rajhi was like the skin of the body; the first barrier that protects it from bacteria.

Merkhi Souhail says:

Je croyais que le président provisoire n'avait pas le pouvoir de limoger un ministre ! En tout cas c'était ce que j'avais cru lire dans les articles de notre feu constitution.

I thought the interim president does not have the power to sack a minister. This is what I have read in the articles of our constitution

He adds:

Le profane que je suis ne peut trouver de bonnes raisons pour démettre cet homme simple de discours et qui avait démontré une efficacité jamais vue dans notre gouvernance. Ces deux qualité lui ont valu un grand respect et une popularité qui ferait mourirde jalousie nos politiciens en paille .

With the little knowledge that I have, I can't find good reasons to sack this man who has shown simplicity in communicating with the public, and has demonstrated an efficiency never seen before in our governance. These two qualities have brought him respect and popularity that would make our politicians green with envy

Facebookers United with Farhat Rajhi:
On the Facebook page “Tous Unis Avec le Ministre de l'Intérieur Farhat Rajhi” ( All United with the Interior Minister Farhat Rajhi), Sinda Boukhari writes:

tous unis bech nraj3ou Mr farhat rajhi ministre de l'interieur

All united so that Mr Farhat Rajhi returns as the Interior Minister

Before becoming an Interior Minister, Rajhi was a magistrate.Another Facebook page was launched. The page attracted more than 3,000 fans in less than 24 hours and it is called:

كلنا مع رجوع الراجحي كوزير عدل و يا السبسي يزي مالظلم نحن نقرر

All United to Bring Back Rajhi to the Government as the Minister of Justice and Enough Unjustice Sebsi (PM), We Decide

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

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