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Tunisia: Hundreds of protesters hit Tunis in support of President Saied’s ‘revolution’

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Pro-government protesters on Sunday hit the street in the centre of Tunisia’s capital city, Tunis in support of President Kais Saied.

The demonstrators, who were in hundreds, displayed banners with words of support and chanted slogans calling for an end to what they described as “corrupt politicians”.

The protesters gathered on Bourguiba Avenue in the centre of the capital, the epicentre of widespread protests that toppled former leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011.

President Said sacked the government, suspended parliament, and seized a string of powers in July 2021. In December of the same year, he announced in a speech on national television a three-month “popular consultation” with the Tunisian people after which “draft constitutional and other reforms will be put forward to a referendum on July 25”.

One of the supporters of President Saied, Lotfi Hamdi, who is a French-Tunisian university professor said “until today we have not seen much…but we hope that he (Kais Saied, ed.) will lead Tunisia and bring it back to good governance.

“Good governance means judging the thugs, the thieves, the traffickers, those who have starved the Tunisian people, those who have plundered the wealth of Tunisia,” he said.

Another supporter and civil society activist, Hasna Jiballah, added: “we want all those who betrayed Tunisia to be prosecuted. Whether it is in the eyes of the law or before God, we do not want this to happen in a spirit of revenge or exclusion. We want them to be prosecuted to the extent of the offences they have committed. Finally, this must be done within the framework of independent justice, with independent, fair, and patriotic judges”.

There has been a lot of outcry against president Saied’s tight hand on government institutions and structures. Last month, opposition parties say vow to boycott any referendum on political changes by the president and pledged to oppose it.

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

Tunisia has not been politically stable eleven years after the Arab uprising which started in Tunisia in 2011.

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Tunisia’s Interior Ministry alleges threats to President Saied’s life

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The Tunisian Interior Ministry has alleged serious threats to the life of President Kais Saied as concerns over a mounting political crisis in the North African country grows.

The Ministry said the country’s intelligence apparatchick revealed that both internal and external elements were involved in plans targeting the president.

Ministry spokesperson Fadhila Khelifi said in a news conference that “the goal was to undermine Tunisian public security by eliminating the President.”

Though Khelifi did not give out names of the purported planners, he however assured that they would soon be rounded up and made to face trial.

President Saied has been having a running battle with the opposition in Tunisia with opponents accusing him of a coup for seizing most powers last summer to rule by decree and preparing a new constitution that he plans to put to a referendum next month.

This year alone, Saied has moved to consolidate his powers by dissolving the parliament, annuling the electoral commission and taking also taking the war to the judiciary by sacking 57 judges after accusing them of protecting Islamists.

Critics have also accused him of clamping down on the opponents with the arrest of leading opposition figures and a widespread crackdown on the opposition parties.

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Senegal’s opposition leader calls for nationwide mega protest on June 29

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Despite clashes between government security forces and anti-government protesters which led to the death of three people last week, Senegal’s main opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko, has called for a fresh demonstration to be held on June 29.

Sonko who came third in the last presidential election in the country and has a large followership made up of mainly youths, had also called on citizens to bang pots and pans in protest on Wednesday which was a huge success, prompting in his call for the July 29 showdown.

“On the 29th of July, with or without authorization, we are going to organize our demonstration,” Sonko, a leader of the PASTEF party said in a press conference on Friday.

“If President Macky Sall wants to prevent this affair, he should be ready to arrest us or terminate us.

“Let the whole of Senegal rumble and let Macky Sall understand that the Senegalese people do not agree with his dictatorial designs or his ill-fated plan for a third term,” Sonko added.

Though the police has banned protests in the West African country citing risk of unrest, Sonko and other opposition figures have called on citizens to come out enmasse for the demonstration.

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