Tunisian prime minister resigns


Tunisian prime minister Mohamed Ghannouchi announced his resignation today following a wave of street protests.

Critics have accused him of being to close to the North African state's former government, toppled in an uprising last month, and of failing to enact reforms.

"My resignation will provide a better atmosphere for the new era," he said, adding he wanted to prevent more victims in the country's political unrest.

Three people have been killed and several people wounded in clashes between security forces and demonstrators since Friday over Mr Ghannouchi's role in the interim government.

"My resignation is in the service of the country," he said on state TV.

North Africa's most developed state has been in flux since a wave of protests toppled former president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14th, encouraging a similar revolt in Egypt and triggering protests across the Arab world.

But many Tunisians have become frustrated over the slow pace of change since the revolution.

Mr Ghannouchi restated the government's pledge to hold elections to replace the president by July 15th.