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Tunisia's former ruling party members hold protest

A supporter of the former regime holds banner during a rally to protest the upcoming elections in Tunis, April 16, 2011. Banner reads,'Stop to the new dictatorship'. A supporter of the former regime holds banner during a rally to protest the upcoming elections in Tunis, April 16, 2011. Banner reads,"Stop to the new dictatorship". (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
April 16, 2011

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TUNIS, Tunisia—Hundreds of members of Tunisia's former ruling party, saying "we're all Tunisians," have rallied to protest a new measure forbidding former party officials from running in elections for an assembly that will write a new constitution.

It was the first demonstration by followers of the now-banned RCD party of ex-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali who fled to exile in Saudi Arabia Jan. 14 amid a revolution that triggered Arab world uprisings.

The wife of ex-party leader Mohamed Ghariani, jailed days ago, said at the Saturday rally, "We're all victims of the former regime. Who could raise his voice against Ben Ali?"

Officials of Tunisia's transition government have banned former RCD and government officials during Ben Ali's 23-year reign from running in the July 24 election.

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