Reporting from Tunis, Tunisia — Tunisia's transitional government on Wednesday began to redress alleged financial and political abuses of the deposed ruler and his family as a measure of calm returned to a country roiled less than a week ago by a popular uprising, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Newly sworn-in officials launched an investigation into the financial dealings of former President Zine el Abidine ben Ali, who fled the country Friday. They also have taken steps to address some of the human rights abuses during Ben Ali's 23-year-reign, announcing the release of 1,800 political prisoners.
"I want to make a judicial inquiry to arrest everyone who used the state to enrich themselves," interim President Fouad Mebazaa said in a televised news conference.
"We believe in Tunisia and we will write a new page in history to make a future where the nation will prevail," he said. "We will realize all the wishes of the people, by letting them choose their own government in elections that will be a complete break with the past and by releasing all political opponents."
A provisional government that says it is dedicated to building a modern democracy promises free elections in six months.
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