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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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Weeks after justices protest, Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Tanko Muhammad resigns

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Nigeria’s Chief Justice, Justice Tanko Muhammad, has resigned.

Sources confirmed that Justice Muhammad resigned on Sunday night, citing ill-health as the reason for his decision.

Hint of potential crises in Nigeria’s judiciary played out last week when fourteen Justices of the Supreme Court wrote to the Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN), Tanko Muhammad, lamenting the parlous state of affairs in the court.

The petition is the first-of-its-kind in the 58-year history of the apex court, the justices chronicled the operational challenges that have almost crippled the efficient adjudication of cases at the court.

Arrangements are said to be ongoing to swear in the next most senior justice of the Supreme Court, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, as the acting Chief Justice of Nigeria.

President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019 suspended Justice Tanko’s predecessor Chief Justice, Walter Onnoghen, 15 days after allegations of impropriety were lodged against the most senior judge in the country. It was the first time that Nigeria’s head of state had sacked a chief justice since 1975, when the country was under military rule.

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18 years after suspension, Zimbabwe lobbys for readmission into Commonwealth

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Southern African Zimbabwe has continued with lobbying for readmission 18 years after it was thrown out of the body over allegations of human rights abuses.

The country made its latest move to be readmitted at the ongoing Commonwealth summit in Rwanda.

Zimbabwe’s ambassador to Rwanda Charity Manyeruke, who is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali as an observer alongside other top government officials, told newsmen that the country’s participation at the summit was a “positive development.”

“Zimbabwe is excited to be participating in Commonwealth forums as this presents opportunities to network with the international community taking into account the government of Zimbabwe’s policy of engagement and reengagement,” Ms Manyeruke said.

“The Commonwealth meeting in Kigali has provided opportunities for our Zimbabwean diaspora across the globe, who are participating as panellists, facilitators and as delegates in the forums.

Zimbabwe was first suspended from the councils of the Commonwealth for one year, after international observers condemned disputed presidential election as unfairly tilted toward Robert Mugabe in 2022.

One year after the suspension, Mr Mugabe revealed that he did not accept a Commonwealth decision to prolong Zimbabwe’s suspension from the group until the country mended its ways.

“Accordingly, Zimbabwe has withdrawn its membership from the Commonwealth with immediate effect,” said a government statement.

Zimbabwe’s Foreign Affairs deputy minister David Musabayana said he had held meetings with influential people to discuss the country’s potential readmission.

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