Round-Up: If you’ve just started following the Tunisia situation, here’s what’s happening:
- Protests have been ongoing in Tunisia since the weekend, when over 20 protesters were killed government troops.
- The protests were driven by concerns over food price inflation and unemployment.
- Protests may have been exacerbated by the WikiLeaks release on the country’s President and his family. Those leaks accused the ruling family of being mafia like.
- Thousands flooded the streets today. President Ben Ali attempted to calm things by announcing elections in the next 6 months.
- This failed to work and the Prime Minister, Mohammed Ghannouch, is now in charge in what appears to be a coup. This is similar to how President Ben Ali came to power 23 years ago.
- What we’re following now: Will the protester’s accept this new leader, who was very close to a President they clearly no longer supported? Where has President Ben Ali fled to?
Update 1:25 PM ET: New reports indicate President Ben Ali is now in Malta (via The Guardian).
Update 1:15 PM ET: Reports out of France are now suggesting President Ben Ali has fled to Paris and is already there (via @AlanFisher).
Update 1:05 PM ET: The Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouch has taken control, it has been confirmed.
You can watch Al Jazeera’s coverage live at Live Station.
Update 1:00 PM ET: Details are still sketchy, but it appears the Prime Minister has just conducted a coup against the president, according to Al Jazeera.
Update 12:51 PM ET: The Prime Minister says the President can not exercise his powers at the moment and he is taking control of the country, according to Reuters (via The Guardian).
Likely The President of Tunisia has fled the country and now the military has taken over, according to Al Jazeera.
His departure comes after thousands flooded the capital’s streets today to protest food inflation, unemployment, and government forces killing protesters.
Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been in power since 1987.
Earlier today, the president dismissed his government and called for new elections in 6 months.
With the military in control, it is unknown whether those elections will occur on the same schedule.