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Tunisian opposition party, Al Watad, expels leader for attending national dialogue meeting

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Tunisian opposition party, Al Watad, has expelled its leader, Mongi Rahoui, for taking part in the first meeting of a controversial national dialogue proposed by embattled President Kais Saied.

Al Watad, a democratic party in Tunisia, which announced the sacking of Rahoui in a statement said he went against the party’s decision not to take part in the dialogue.

Rahoui had attended the first meeting of the Consultative Committee which held on Saturday which Al Watad party said was against its rule.

The much criticised Consultative Committee is one of the few established by Saied to deliberate over the drafting of a new constitution that will be submitted to a referendum next month.

The dialogue has been criticized at home and abroad as it has sidelined political parties and critics of the President following his unilateral sacking of the parliament, the electoral commission and the judiciary in sweeping changes meant to position himself as the ultimate leader which the opposition have described as a coup.

Saied has also drawn the wrath of several parties and civil society organizations in the North African country after he seized major power on July 25 last year in what he defined exceptional measures to restore the country.

The move also angered Tunisia’s traditional partners including the U.S. and the European Union. UGTT, Tunisia’s powerful labor union, has refused to be part of the process in its current format which excludes political parties.

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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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