Tunisia’s President Beji Caid Essebsi has appointed a new interim government that contains no members of the regime of former president Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali.

Essebsi has kept the leaders of key ministries, including defence, interior, justice and foreign affairs. The other ministers who were seen as too close to the regime of Ben Ali have either resigned or forced out.

Essebsi says that his priorities are re-establishing security and rebuilding Tunisia’s troubled economy.

The Interior Ministry has also disbanded the State Security Department, whose secret police spied on citizens under the rule of Ben Ali. Abolishing the secret police has been one of the key demands of the pro-democracy protesters.

Prime Minister Fouad Mebazaa said on 6 March that voting for a council of representatives to rewrite the constitution will be held by 24 July (MEED 6:3:11).