Tunisia protestors torch ruling party office

Tunisia protestors torch ruling party office
Thu Nov 28, 2013 13:09:18

Protesters have set fire to the office of Tunisia’s ruling party Ennahda in the city of Siliana as demonstrations erupted nationwide against tough economic conditions.

General strikes were called in the northwestern city of Siliana, Gafsa and in southeastern city of Gabes, calling for greater government investment, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.

Protesters were also commemorating events in November 2012 when people marched to call for a new provincial governor and were dispersed by police wielding shotguns.

The state news agency reported that the success rate of the general strike observed in Siliana “exceeded 90 percent, according to the first estimates of the Tunisian Regional Labor Union (URT).”

Wednesday’s violence erupted when demonstrators hurled rocks at the police, who threw rocks back at them and then drove into the crowd of protesters to try and disperse them, according to AFP.

The protesters seized files and furniture from Ennahda’s office and burned them in the road, while preventing firemen from gaining access to the building, according to reports.

In Gafsa the strike was called to protest against poverty and lack of development, driving factors behind the popular uprising that toppled Tunisia’s former strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011.

Tunisia kicked off the Arab Spring by overthrowing its dictator in 2011, partly over the lack of jobs of young people, especially in the impoverished interior. Nearly three years after the revolution, however, the elected government has been unable to jump-start the economy or redress the historic inequalities between the wealthier coast and the poorer interior, according to Associated Press.


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