Friday, January 14, 2011

Tunisia: WikiLution?

CNN has a story today on recent developments in Tunisia:

Tunisia's president vowed Thursday to cut prices of basic foodstuffs, to lift censorship and to ensure police do not use live ammunition except in self-defense, and implied that he will not run again for president.

"Enough violence," President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali said on national television after days of riots that have killed at least 21 people. "I also gave orders to the interior minister ... not to use live ammunition. It is unacceptable and unjustified unless someone uses his weapon and forces you to defend yourself."

Ben Ali said he had asked the prime minister to reduce prices of staples, including sugar, milk and bread and said he had decided to give "complete freedom to all media outlets ... as long as they respect our values and the value of the profession."

The 74-year-old president added that he would not push to change the law setting an age limit for presidential candidates in the next election in 2014. By then, he would have exceeded the 75-year age limit. "There will not be presidency for life," he said.

This story follows from developments that some - including The Guardian - speculate could stem from recent WikiLeaks revelations. If it is the case and if it leads towards increased political rights and general improvements in Tunisia, it must be said to be a major victory for WikiLeaks, and one more reason why certain countries should reconsider their negative stances towards the organization.

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