Tunisia seeks cabinet shake up as protests rage

Police lines and barricades surrounded the Parliament building in Tunisia's capital on Tuesday, as hundreds protested social inequality and police abuses.

This was the largest rally since demonstrations began earlier this month on the 10th anniversary of Tunisia's2011 revolution, which first brought democracy to the North African nation.

On Tuesday, Tunisia's parliament approved a Cabinet reshuffle aimed at injecting new blood into the government.

That's according to Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, who said, "Young people protesting outside parliament reminds us of our priorities. Their protests are legitimate and the government will listen to the angry youth."

Mechichi, appointed last year, named 11 new ministers, but President Kais Saied said on Monday he would reject the Cabinet reshuffle.

He criticized the absence of women among the new ministers and said some are likely tied to corruption.

Some demonstrators outside of parliament said they still don't trust the government's decisions.

"We are here today in protest of the ruling system, against the oppression, the injustice and the corruption. They have been making calculations and adjustments but only for the benefit of power and only power."

Chanting "The people want the fall of the regime," protesters echoed the demands of the Tunisian revolution ten years ago, which later inspired the Arab Spring uprising across the region.

Little has improved since then, at least according to one protester, as political paralysis and economic decline still persist.

"Today, ten years after the so-called revolution, we still have the same demands, the same slogans. This is the proof that what is called a revolution did not happen… today, we protest to bring back the path of the revolution."

Some opposition lawmakers even joined the protests.

It's unclear when the President will make his decision on the reshuffle.

Video Transcript

[CROWD CLAMORING]

- Police lines and barricades surrounded the parliament building in Tunisia's capital on Tuesday as hundreds protested social inequality and police abuses. This was the largest rally since demonstrations began earlier this month on the 10th anniversary of Tunisia's 2011 revolution which brought democracy to the North African nation.

On Tuesday, Tunisia's parliament approved a cabinet reshuffle aimed at injecting new blood into the government. That's according to Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi who said, quote, "Their protests are legitimate, and the government will listen to the angry youth."

Mechichi, appointed last year, named 11 new ministers. But President Kais Saied said on Monday he would reject the cabinet reshuffle. He criticized the absence of women among the new ministers and said some are likely tied to corruption. Some demonstrators outside of parliament said they still don't trust the government's decisions.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: They're here today in protest against the ruling system, against the oppression, the injustice and the corruption. They've been making calculations and adjustments, but only for the benefit of power.

[CROWD CHANTING]

- Chanting "the people want the fall of the regime," protesters echoed the demands of the Tunisian revolution 10 years ago, which later inspired the Arab Spring uprisings across the region. Little has improved since then, at least according to one protester, as political paralysis and economic decline still persist.

- [NON-ENGLISH SPEECH]

INTERPRETER: Today, 10 years after the so-called revolution, we still have the same demands, the same slogans. This is the proof that what is called a revolution did not happen. Today we protest to bring back the path of the revolution.

- Some opposition lawmakers even joined the protests. It's unclear when the president will make his decision on the reshuffle.