Thousands of Tunisians have protested against their Islamist-led government, exactly two years after President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali was overthrown in a popular revolt that inspired uprisings across the Arab world.

More than 8000 secular demonstrators gathered outside the Interior Ministry on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, the same spot where mass protests forced veteran leader Ben Ali to accept his rule was over and flee the country on January 14, 2011, and sparking the Arab spring.

Protesters filled the central boulevard, carrying banners that read: "No fear, no horror, power belongs to the people," and: "No to emerging dictatorship. No to religious dictatorship."

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The moderate Islamist Ennahda party won elections in October 2011, but has struggled to restore security and stability.

"Ennahda out, down with the [Muslim] Brotherhood Party," chanted the demonstrators, waving red and white Tunisian flags. "Where is the constitution? Where is democracy?"

Following the uprising in Tunis, popular unrest spread to much of the Arab world, ousting or challenging rulers in Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain and Syria, which is still mired in a civil war that has cost more than 60,000 lives.