Tunisian Prime Minister Says Protesters Aim to Derail Vote

Posted July 19th, 2011 at 1:35 am (UTC-5)
Leave a comment

Tunisia's prime minister says protesters are seeking to derail elections planned for October, after a teenager was killed during a wave of demonstrations during the past few days.

Prime Minister Beji Caid Essebsi said in an address to the nation Monday that some groups are fostering the unrest to derail the vote, but that the elections will go on as planned.

Authorities said Monday a 14-year-old boy was killed by a stray bullet Sunday when police fired to break up a violent protest in the town of Sidi Bouzid. Two others were wounded in the clash.

Tunisians have kept up calls for reforms since the uprising that led to the January ouster of former leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali.

The unrest began in Sidi Bouzid in December when a 26-year-old unemployed university graduate set himself on fire after police confiscated his produce.

The resulting riots over food prices and high unemployment sparked what is known as the Arab Spring, which led to citizens calling for reforms in Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Jordan and Libya.