Tunisian President Replaces Prime Minister
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) _ President Zine Abidine Ben Ali on Wednesday fired his prime minister, who had expressed growing opposition to Ben Ali’s reform moves.
The president named Justice Minister Hamed Karoui to replace the ousted prime minister, Hedi Baccouche, the government announced.
″A new post will be found for Baccouche,″ said a statement from the president’s office without elaboration.
Baccouche, a personal friend of the president, was named to lead the government immediately after the palace coup Nov. 7, 1987, in which Ben Ali ousted President Habib Bourguiba.
The two men had grown progressively further apart recently as Ben Ali sought to put through his own program of political and economic reforms.
Before taking over the Justice Ministry, the 62-year-old Karoudi had been minister of youth and sports and director of the ruling Constitutional Democratic Rally party.
The new prime minister was received by Ben Ali on Wednesday afternoon and later told newsmen the president had instructed him to intensify ″the process of democratization and the carrying out of the government’s economic prerogatives.″