Mohamed Ghannouchi, the Tunisian prime minister, has announced that the former defence, foreign, interior and finance ministers will keep their key posts in the new national unity government formed after the toppling of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali as president.
But the announcement of the new interim government on Monday stated that a number of opposition members will also be assigned to ministerial posts.
Ghannouchi has named Najib Chebbi, founder of the Progressive Democratic Party (PDP) which opposed Ben Ali, as minister of regional development.
Opposition leaders Ahmed Ibrahim and Mustafa ben Jaafar have also been given ministerial posts.
Al Jazeera’s James Bays, reporting from Ghannouchi’s office in Tunis, said that a list of the new cabinet ministers has been released and that a senior diplomat told him that the new government consisted of “quite a lot of the old guard and not so much of the new”.
Bays said that there was a considerable amount of anger among the Tunisian press as Ghannouchi, Ben Ali’s right-hand man in the Constitutional Democratic Rally (CRD), refused to answer questions after issuing the statement on the new government.