Tunisia Protests Erupt Amid the New Government
Tunisia protests were inevitable as a new government was quickly ushered in after President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country.
While the new government has promised new freedoms, citizens remain wary with many believing the old tyrannous government will continue. The newly formed government contains new members as well as members from Ben Ali's government.
In response to the 20102011 Tunisian protests, Ben Ali declared a state of emergency in the country, dissolved the government on Jan. 14 and promised new legislative elections within six months. However, events moved quickly and it appears the armed forces and key members of the legislature had lost confidence in the president and had decided to take steps of their own.
With power slipping from his grasp Ben Ali resigned the presidency at about 4pm local time and delegated prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi to act as head of state during his "temporary" absence.
With the army surrounding the Presidential Palace in Tunis and perhaps in fear of retribution, Ben Ali and close members of his family hastily fled in four helicopters bound for Malta. Other close associates who attempted to leave the country via Tunis-Carthage International Airport were prevented from doing so by the army who had seized the airport.
From Malta, Ben Ali initially headed to exile in France but his plane was prevented from landing in Paris by the French authorities. It was reported by Le Monde that a plane carrying some members of his family did land at Paris. It appears that Ben Ali was forced to reconsider his options mid air and amid conflicting rumours that he was heading for either Doha or Dubai he eventually arrived in Saudi Arabia early on Saturday 15 January, where he was welcomed by the authorities.