Tunisia may opt for government reshuffle

The caretaker government includes some former opposition leaders. But most of the key positions, including that of prime minister and the ministers of defence, interior and foreign affairs were retained by Ben Ali's allies.

The Cabinet reshuffle may remove loyalists of ousted President Ali to stop ongoing protests in the north African nation, Voice of America reported Thursday.

Justice Minister Lazhar Karoui Chebbi said Wednesday that Ben Ali, his wife Leila Trabelsi and other family members are accused of illegally amassing property and other assets abroad. They are also charged with illegally transferring money out of the country.

Ben Ali fled Tunisia January 14 amid the eruption of unrest over unemployment, rising prices and corrupt rule.

Protests erupted Wednesday in Tunisia's capital and in a second city as demonstrators continued to demand resignations of government officials ties with Ben Ali's administration.
Police fired tear gas to quell stone-throwing demonstrators in Tunis.

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