* Priority is security plus political and economic reform -PM
* Ben Ali's RCD party keeps significant presence in cabinet
(Adds central bank, background)
TUNIS, Jan 17 Tunisia's ministers of defence,
the interior, finance and foreign affairs will keep their posts
in the new government but opposition leaders including Najib
Chebbi will also have posts, the prime minister said on Monday.
The government hopes the new coalition cabinet will help to
stabilise the north African country of 10 million, still in
turmoil after the sudden collapse of former president Zine
al-Abidine Ben Ali's rule last week during a popular uprising.
"We are committed to intensifying our efforts to reestablish
calm and peace in the hearts of all Tunisians. Our priority is
security, as well as political and economic reform," Prime
Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi told a news conference.
He named Chebbi, founder of the opposition PDP party, as
minister of regional development.
Ahmed Ibrahim, leader of the Ettajdid party, was named
minister of higher education and Mustafa Ben Jaafar, head of the
Union of Freedom and Labour, got the health portfolio.
Ghannouchi also named a new governor of Tunisia's central bank,
Mustafa Kamel Nabli.
Tunisian security forces used tear gas and water cannon to
disperse a protest of up to 1,000 people in central Tunis
earlier on Monday demanding that the ruling party give up power.
Their slogans included "Out with the party of the
dictatorship!" and "Out with the RCD!" -- the party of Ben Ali,
who fled to Saudi Arabia on Friday. It still has a significant
presence in the cabinet of Ghannouchi, who himself is an RCD
Interior Minister Ahmed Friaa was originally appointed only
last week in Ben Ali's final days when the then president tried
to mollify a protest movement against poverty, corruption and
(Reporting by Tarek Amara, writing by Andrew Hammond, editing
by David Stamp)