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Fresh protests in Tunisia as government begins cabinet reshuffle

Recent file- Demonstrators face police officers during a demonstration in Tunis, Saturday, Jan.23, 2021.   -  
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Hedi Ayari/Copyright 2021 The Associated Press.


Tunisians protested outside parliament on Tuesday a week after a youth demonstrator was killed and hundreds have been jailed in mass riots and rallies.

The parliament in the capital Tunis was heavily guarded as lawmakers vote on a new government after Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi announced a reshuffle last week amid the unrest.

He promised Tuesday that the new team would concentrate on deep reforms to create jobs and improve living conditions as the coronavirus pandemic worsens the economic crisis.

But four of his 11 proposed new Cabinet members are facing investigations or suspicions of corruption.

The protests, called for by human rights and other groups, demanded the release of the hundreds arrested during the month of demonstrations and denounced repressive police measures.

Meanwhile, President Kais Saied said the government reshuffle is unconstitutional, because the prime minister didn’t follow the procedures for informing the president first.

The confidence vote is scheduled at the end of the day, with lawmakers voting on the new members of the government one-by-one.

The protests started on the 10th anniversary of the revolution that started the Arab Spring.

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