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Tunisian activists pick holes in new Constitution as it establishes dictatorship under President Saied

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Tunisian activists have picked holes in the proposed constitution presented to President Kais Saied by a committee he had set up to come up with the draft.

The draft of the constitution which was published in Tunisia’s official gazette late on Thursday, will be voted on in a referendum on July 25, and if passed, will replace the 2014 constitution Saied discarded a year ago after dissolving the parliament.

While dissecting the new draft in debates on social media on Friday, majority of the activists said the new constitution would establish a dictatorship under Saied.

One of the most debated issues in the proposed constitution was the alleged use of ambiguous words in the terms and articles, with particular reference to the use of a word, Taghraa, which the activists claim refers to stamps used by former sultans and kings.

In the context of the new era, the activists claimed that Saied might be referring to ruling the country through presidential decrees.

The Tunisian activists are also worried that the text of the constitution gives Saied ultimate authority over the government and judiciary which stipulates that the government would answer to the president and not to parliament.

The new constitution also allows Saied to present draft laws, have sole responsibility for proposing treaties and drafting state budgets, appoint or sack government ministers and appoint judges.

The president would also serve two terms of five years each, but extend them if he feels there was an imminent danger to the state, and would have the right to dissolve parliament, while no clause allows for the removal of a president.

The proposed constitution also stipulates that the president would be the head of the armed forces and be charged with naming judges, who would be banned from striking, which the activists say would be dangerous to civil rule.

Another issue the activists did not find comfortable was in the first article of the document which removes references to both Islam and the civilian nature of Tunisia, and simply saying that the country is a free, independent and sovereign state.

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24-year-old defeats veteran politician in Kenya to win female parliamentary seat

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To Kenyans, it was a breath of fresh air after a 24-year-old budding female politician, Linet Chepkorir, defeated veteran and incumbent lawmaker, Joyce Korir, to clinch the Bomet county woman representative seat.

Chepkorir who is popularly known as ‘Toto,’ won the Bomet parliamentary seat with a landslide in the August 9 general elections, and with her feat, is now the youngest parliamentarian in the country.

Toto had come into the limelight in April when she defeated older politicians to clinch the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) party ticket to run for the seat.

At just 24, Toto who ran her campaign on donations from friends and supporters, defeated seasoned and wealthy politicians to win the seat in the 13th National Assembly.

Toto came to the limelight a few months ago after she won the UDA ticket to run for the seat.

After she was announced as the winner of the poll, Toto took to her Twitter handle to thank the people of the county for believing in her and promised to deliver on her election campaign promises.

Other prominent contestants in the race were Beatrice Chepkorir, Eddah Chepkoech, Faith Chepkirui, Cicilia Chepkoech, Brenda Chepng’etich, Eunice Cherono, Susan Koech, Stacy Chepkemoi and Joan Chekirui.

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Senegal’s ruling coalition remains majority in parliament after late twist

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The ruling coalition of Senegal has kept its absolute majority in parliament thanks to a new alliance after narrowly won last month’s legislative election.

According to final results announced by the Constitutional Council on Thursday, President Macky Sall’s coalition has 82 deputies, down from its 125 deputies elected in 2017, out of the 165 in the Assembly.

The announcement confirms the provisional figures announced on August 4 by the National Commission for the Census of Votes (CNRV).

However, Pape Diop, former president of the National Assembly and Senate has switched to the ruling side to give it an absolute majority of 83 deputies, against 82 in total for the opposition.

Mr. Diop announced in a press conference on Thursday that he had “taken the decision to join” the presidential camp to avoid Senegal “a blockage in the functioning of institutions”

“Given the presidential nature of our political system, a National Assembly placed under the control of the opposition will necessarily lead to an institutional crisis” carrying “all the dangers”, he explained.

Senegalese voted in July to elect the country’s deputies. These elections stand as a decisive test for opposition parties trying to tackle the ruling party’s influence head of the presidential election in 2024.

There are fears that siting President Macky Sall might a third in office with his coalition now having absolute majority in the parliament.

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