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Tunisia To Hold July 24 Elections

President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted from power on January 14 after 23 years in power in Tunisia.

Tunisia's interim president has announced that Tunisia will hold an election on July 24 to choose a constitutional assembly that will have the job of writing the north African country's new constitution.

Interim President Fouad Mebazaa announced the vote date in a national broadcast March 3, saying a new constitution "must be a mirror of the people's aspirations and the principles of the revolution."

The interim president added that he and the current caretaker government plan to remain in power at least until the election is held.

Reports say that changing Tunisia's constitution is believed to be a necessary step toward creating a legitimate multi-party system and clearing the way for democratic presidential and legislative elections.

Tunisia has been struggling to maintain stability since mass public protests led to the ouster of leader Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14 after 23 years in power.

The Tunisian revolt has provided inspiration for uprisings in other parts of the Arab world, but the country has seen some recent outbreaks of violence and at least five members of the caretaker government have resigned in recent days.

compiled from agency reports