Ben Ali is congratulated

The Tunisian regime seems to be clutching at straws. Yesterday, the official news agency reported that six local organisations, including the Road Traffic Association and the Professional Association of Banks, have congratulated President Ben Ali on hisrecent speech.

They allegedly think it "testified to an acute patriotic sense, a clear vision and a resolute commitment to forge ahead on the way of boosting comprehensive development throughout the country".

Meanwhile, Ben Ali has sacked Mourad Ben Jalloul, governor of Sidi Bouzid (the area where the disturbances first broke out). No reason was given. 

On Wednesday, the president dismissed his communications minister, Oussama Romdhani, along with two other ministers, in a government reshuffle.

Al-Jazeera yesterday reported the death of another protester. Chawki Belhoussine El Hadri, 44, died of his injuries after being shot by police in Menzel Bouzaiene on December 24.

The Nawaat website has a summary (in French) of other protest-related events yesterday, plus some videos.

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Posted by Brian Whitaker, 1 Jan 2011.