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Pirate Party seizes Tunisian ministry

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The Pirate Party has reportedly gained a foothold in the new Tunisian government following the downfall of Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's regime.

Among the new faces named in the transitional government under prime minister Mohammed Ghannouchi is Slim Amamou, a blogging activist and Pirate Party member who will be Secretary of State for Sports and Youth.*

Amamou and other party members were arrested by police loyal to Ben Ali back on 6 January for their part in the "online revolt" against the ailing government. Amamou emerged from the ordeal intact, although fellow pirate Azyz Ammami allegedly took a beating at the hands of his captors.

It remains to be seen how the pirate will fare in the stormy seas ahead for Tunisia. Senior positions in Ghannounchi's "unity" cabinet are filled by members of Ben Ali's party, the RCD, a fact which hasn't impressed angry demonstrators demanding all of the former dictator's accomplices be shown the door.

Ben Ali's wife Leila Trabelsi, meanwhile, is settling down to a new life in Dubai having apparently shown she's got what it takes to be a real-life buccaneer.

Before departing Tunisia, she allegedly relieved the country's central bank of 1.5 tonnes of gold booty worth £38m. ®

Bootnote

* There's some confusion as to quite how senior Amamou's position is, and it's not certain whether the title "Secretary of State" means control over a ministry or a junior ministerial position.

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