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Joe Lieberman, John McCain and Tunisia

John Simkin

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Joe Lieberman, John McCain and William Burns, the state department’s top Middle East official, visited Tunisia last week for meetings with Mohamed Ghannouchi, who became prime minister after the overthrow of Ben Ali. The three men were pressing for Ghannouchi, a former colleague of Ben Ali, to form a new centre party that will stop the secular left and the Islamists from gaining control of Tunisia.

This diplomatic move was ill-judged and following protest marches of last week, Ghannouchi was forced to resign from office yesterday. As Radhia Nasraoui, a lawyer who heads the Association Against Torture in Tunisia, commented: “After suffering under a presidential dictatorship and de facto one-party rule, most leftists and Islamists are calling for a parliamentary system.”

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