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Thousands protest in Tunis over President Saied’s raid on government institutions

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Opposition protesters have hit the streets in Tunis, capital city of Tunisia on Sunday in demonstration against President Kais Saied’s power grab and the economic crisis in the North African country.

Report says at least 2,000 people gathered in the city centre chanting – Poverty has increased”, and “Famine is at our doorsteps”

Protesters held up signs in English and French, reading “Tunisia wake up” and “Tunisian state is on the verge of collapse”.

Recall that slamreportafrica.com reported last Tuesday that “President Kais Saied has continued his “revolution” of government institutions in the North African country as he inaugurated a “temporary” council of judges to replace an independent watchdog that he abolished in early February.

Saied last July sacked the government, suspended parliament and moved to rule by decree, sparking fears for democracy in the birthplace of the 2011 Arab uprisings.

The latest demonstration was called by the Free Destourian Party which is led by staunchly anti-Islamist lawyer Abir Moussi.

“The government today is incapable of finding solutions for the Tunisian people… If we continue in silence, we will lose the country,” Moussi said in a speech during the demonstration.

She branded Tunisia’s current executive as “illegitimate” and called for legislative elections to be brought forward from their scheduled date of December.

Bearing a portrait of Moussi, protester Youssef Jabali told newsmen “Saied, the dictator, is shut off in his palace and the people can’t find semolina, flour, oil or sugar.”

Already plunged in an economic crisis, Tunisia has in recent weeks seen a shortage of staple foods, as the war in Ukraine threatens to interrupt key supplies to various Arab countries.

The authorities have attributed the shortages to panic buying ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, starting this year in April, when Muslims traditionally break a dawn-to-dusk fast with lavish family meals.

Saied on Wednesday declared a “relentless war” on food speculators and profiteers, accusing them of seeking to “strike at social peace and security”.

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Politics

Tunisian labour union, UGTT threatens political disruption as elections draws near

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As the North African country, Tunisia braces up for elections, labour union, UGTT has threatened not to disrupt proceedings under the current political arrangement.

UGTT attacked president Saied political and economic agenda on Saturday, including the elections scheduled for this month. The union said that it will no longer accept what it called a threat to democracy in its clearest challenge to him yet.

UGTT’s leader Noureddine Taboubi said in a speech to thousands of supporters, the union will ” no longer accept the current path because of its ambiguity and individual rule, and the unpleasant surprises it hides for the fate of the country and democracy.”

“We will not hesitate to defend rights and freedoms whatever the cost,” he added, in his strongest criticism yet of the president.

“We will not abide by secret agreements the government has with the International Monetary Fund and the workers will stand up to it,” Taboubi said.

Taboubi said the December election would “have no colour and taste” as a result of Saied’s constitution and that the vote lacked national unanimity.

President Kais Saied hinted that the country will not accept foreign observers for the planned elections for later this year.

There have been protests for and against president Saied’s approach to governance of the Tunisian public.

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South Africa: President Ramaphosa’s party, ANC meets as impeachment heat intensifies over ‘Farmgate’

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As the heat keeps piling on the South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, leaders of his party, the African National Congress (ANC) met on Friday to take a position on the current crisis bedeviling the country’s top man.

The ANC leaders are meeting after an inquiry found evidence President Cyril Ramaphosa may have committed misconduct, but they delayed a decision over whether he should stay in his post.

The party’s Treasurer General, Paul Mashatile after the meeting said the group would reconvene before Dec. 6 to discuss the report, which will be debated in parliament on that day.

“We want to deal with it properly, we don’t want to miss any step,” Mashatile told reporters, adding that party officials needed to scrutinise the report further.

“The mood was that there is a sense of urgency, that we should resolve these issues so that we can go on with the responsibilities of running the country.”

In reaction to the panel’s report, President Ramaphosa through a statement asked for space to “carefully consider the contents of the report and the next course of action to be taken”, and the National Council of Provinces chairperson acceded to the request for a delay.

The ANC is the dominant party in the country’s parliament, with 230 seats, or nearly 60% of the total, which makes the possibility of an impeachment low as most votes would be towards votes along party lines.

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