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Tunisian President Saied sets up committee to write ‘New Republic’ constitution

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Tunisian President Kais Saied has set in motion a process to form a committee that will write a ‘New Republic’ constitution for the country currently going through political turmoil, adding that the committee will conclude its work within a few days.

President Saied, in a televised speech on Monday night, said he is rewriting the North African country’s democratic constitution which was introduced after the 2011 revolution, stressing that he will put the rewritten constitution to a referendum in July.

Saied added that a national dialogue on reforms will include four major organisations in the country comprising the UGTT Labour Union, the Lawyers Union, the Federation of Industry and Trade and the Tunisian League of Human Rights.

Saied said his actions were legal and what is needed to save Tunisia from a crisis, and by rewriting the constitution, he was taking steps to focus on restructuring Tunisian political structure.

Saied’s seizure of powers in 2021 had initially been welcome by many Tunisian citizens and was very popular before he angered most of Tunisia’s political establishment by dismissing the parliament and taking control of the judiciary.

Last month, Saied also seized control of the country’s election commission after he sacked the body and named his loyalists as members with himself as the head of the commission.

The move has been seen as a blow to the democratic gains of the country’s 2011 revolution and meant to stifle dissenting voices by opposition groups

Meanwhile, the country is going through an economic crisis which has caused economic stagnation and governmental paralysis as the government has been struggling to finance its 2022 deficit and repay foreign debts.

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Exiled Ivory Coast politician, Charles Blé Goudé, returns home to cheering crowd. Old wounds opened?

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Exiled Ivorian politician, Charles Blé Goudé who was the right-hand man of former Ivorian president, Laurent Gbagbo, is back home.

The Street General as he is fondly called is said to be allegedly involved in the violence that followed the 2011 presidential elections, returned home on Saturday after more than eight years abroad.

Thousands of supporters turned up to receive him at the airport after his arrival on a flight from Ghana’s capital, Accra, that was preceded by a heavy police presence.

Charles Blé Goudé while addressing the crowd said “in reality when I was told to come, it was frank, it was sincere. That is why I thank you here in Yopougon, the Ivorian authorities for having facilitated (my return, ed.) among you. If I see you today it is thanks to them.”

He thanked the Ivorian authorities for facilitating his return and said his “duty” was to “support the peace process”.

“I have arrived, I will gather all the information. In this same place, we will hold a political rally where I will discuss all the issues. And as the press is here, I ask them to come in a few weeks to a big press conference where we will discuss all the issues, I mean all the issues”, promised Blé Goudé.

The politician was arrested in Ghana in 2013 following the post-electoral crisis that engulfed the west African country in 2010. But the homecoming seems to be approved by the incumbent president, Alassane Ouattara, who in July pardoned his predecessor Laurent Gbagbo and Charles Blé Goudé’s principal in the push for national reconciliation.

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Congo DR electoral body, CENI, announces date of presidential election

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The electoral authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Commission Electorale Nationale Independente (CENI) have announced dates for the next presidential election.

CENI on Saturday said the election will take place on December 20th next year.

The commission outlined several challenges, including the logistics of transporting ballot materials thousands of miles, health concerns about Ebola and COVID-19, and unrest that has forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes.

The incumbent president, Felix Tshisekedi, who already expressed his intention to run again. He might be running against Martin Fayulu, who continues to claim that he won the 2018 election and was denied victory.

Terrorist activities, largely by a rebel group, M23 have drawn reactions from stakeholders in the East Africa region and global observers. The M23 is a rebel military group based in eastern areas of the DRC, mainly operating in the province of North Kivu.

According to the electoral authorities, insecurity remains the main challenge for the next elections.

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