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Tunisian protesters call for removal of President Saied for imposing one-man rule

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A political crisis is currently brewing in the North African country of Tunisia following days of protests as citizens have called for the removal of President Kais Saied, accusing him of imposing a one-man rule after he dissolved the parliament last month.

Protesters who call the imposition a coup, have been thronging the streets of the capital Tunis, accusing Saied of a ‘failed-dictatorship‘ after more than half of the members of parliament held an online session to revoke Saied’s decrees last month.

“We are facing a failed dictatorship that is leading the country to an economic disaster. We will continue to protest in the streets until a coup is forced to reverse its decisions,” an activist and a leader of the protesters, Chaima Issa, wrote on social media.

Many members of parliament also participated in the protest on Sunday, which took place with a heavy presence of anti-riot police, with the protesters chanting: “The people want to overthrow the coup.”

“We will continue to resist the coup and we will not retreat. We will not accept this dictatorship,” Samira Chaouchi, one of two deputy speakers of parliament, said.

Saied, took control of executive power in the middle of last year and has continued to rule the country by decree, which his opponents describe as a coup against democratic norms.

He has rejected opponents accusations and said he would hold talks on political reforms, but that “traitors and thieves” would not participate, referring to members of parliament opposed to his regime.

Saied has previously said he would form a committee to rewrite the constitution, put it to a referendum in July and then hold parliamentary elections in December.

The country’s two main parties Ennahda and Free Constitutional, have both said they will oppose those plans.

Politics

South Africa: Parliament reelects Cyril Ramaphosa as president

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President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Julius Malema, the opposition Economic Freedom Fighter, was also put forward for the nation’s presidency, necessitating a vote in parliament to determine the winner.

With a majority of votes in the National Assembly, Chief Justice Ramaphosa was proclaimed president. Julius Malema, the leader of the opposition Economic Freedom Fighters party, received 44 votes, while Ramaphosa received 283.

The Democratic Alliance party said earlier in the day that it would support Ramaphosa in the election as part of a deal to establish a unity government with the African National Congress.

President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa has been re-elected for a second term. He was nominated for re-election on Friday by a member of his African National Congress (ANC) party during the first sitting of parliament following last month’s election.

Out of the 400 seats in the recently elected National Assembly, 246 are held by the ANC and DA.

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Niamey court revokes immunity of overthrown Nigerien president

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The State Court of Niamey has revoked the immunity of Niger’s deposed President, Mohamed Bazoum, signalling the start of criminal proceedings against him by the junta, according to a statement from his attorneys on Friday.

In July of last year, a military coup overthrew Bazoum. Since then, he and his spouse have remained in custody despite numerous requests for his release from Western nations and the ECOWAS regional political and economic grouping.

 

Colonel Amadou Abdramane, the junta’s spokesperson, stated on state television in August that the military government had “gathered the necessary evidence to prosecute the ousted president and his local and foreign accomplices for high treason and for undermining the internal and external security of Niger before competent national and international authorities.”

In a statement, one of his attorneys, Moussa Coulibaly, claimed that the court’s ruling cleared the path for Bazoum to face charges of treason and conspiracy to compromise state security.

The court proceedings “violated (ed) the absolute rights of the defence: we were not authorised to meet our client and the court refused to hear our arguments,” he added.

It was not immediately able to get in contact with the Niger government for a response. Because of Bazoum’s interactions with foreign heads of state and international organizations, the junta declared last year that it would bring high treason charges against him.

Following 2020, there have been eight coups in West and Central Africa that have brought the military government to power. Calls for Bazoum’s reinstatement have gone unanswered, including by the ECOWAS Court of Justice, which declared last year that his arrest was unjustified.

According to Bazoum’s attorneys, he and his spouse had never appeared before a magistrate. Lawyers said that since October, when their phone line at the White House was taken away, they have been cut off from the outside world and are only permitted to have visitors from their doctor.

Mohamed Bazoum Salem, the 23-year-old son of the deposed president, was given provisional parole from house imprisonment by the Niger military tribunal in January.

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