Tunisian journalists and opposition activists are accusing the government of trying to take control of the country's media to influence upcoming elections.

About 200 protesters gathered in front of the government headquarters Wednesday to denounce the appointment of a former police chief to lead the state-run Dar Assabah media group.

The protesters complain that Tunisia's young government, which came to power after the overthrow of a dictator, broke its promise to consult with civil society leaders before making that and other appointments.

Media professor Larbi Chouikha warned that such decisions behind closed doors could threaten Tunisia's democratic transition.

Secular leftists fear the moderate Islamist-led government could echo the pressure tactics used by ex-dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who was ousted in January 2011 during a popular uprising.