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Tunisia’s new draft constitution gives President Saied broad powers termed ‘presidentialisation’

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The newly drafted constitution which Tunisian President Kais Saied commissioned after discarding the old one has given him the wide-ranging powers he has always wanted.

The new draft which gives broad powers to the head of state, marking a radical break with the existing parliamentary system, was handed over to Saied on Thursday and will be put to a referendum on July 25.

The text of the constitution which was published in the Tunisian government official gazette, confirms what the opposition calls the expected ‘presidentialization’ of the regime by stipulating that the “President of the Republic exercises executive power, assisted by a government led by a head of government” whom he appoints.

The president, according to the published draft, “will also enjoy wide-ranging prerogatives as he is the supreme commander of the armed forces, defines the general policy of the state, approves laws, has the sole prerogative of submitting legislation to parliament, which must examine it as a matter of priority.

The new constitution is to replace the 2014 constitution which had established a hybrid system that was a source of recurring conflict between the executive and legislative branches.

As a prelude to setting up the Committee to write a new constitution for the country, Saied had dissolved the parliament and the electoral commission earlier this year and named a new body in which he made himself the head which the opposition said was a coup and a plan to run a one-man rule.

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Williams Ruto flips President Kenyatta’s plan, wins Kenya’s presidential elections after close race

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Kenya’s Deputy President, William Ruto has been declared the winner of a close presidential elections after defeating veteran contester, Raila Odinga.

Kenya’s elections chief made the declaration on Monday although some senior election officials disowned the result.

The incumbent, President Uhuru Kenyatta was openly in support of Odinga succeeding him amidst the loggerheads between him and his deputy, William Ruto.

Ruto has hailed his victory and said “There is no looking back. We are looking to the future. We need all hands-on deck to move forward.”

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Tunisia: Government, labour union, UGTT, agree on IMF intervention

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In Tunisia, the government of president Saide has finally reach agreement with the country’s main labour and commerce unions for economic reforms.

The pressure groups agreed with the government on Friday to start talks on Monday over economic reforms required by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a rescue programme.

According to the state news agency ,TAP, quoting a government statement, Prime Minister Najla Bouden, UGTT labour union chief Noureddine Taboubi and UTICA commerce union chief Samir Majoul had agreed a “social contract” to tackle national challenges.

The UGTT which represents a vast syndicate of workers, has been a major critic of IMF economic reforms proposed by the government, including subsidy cuts, a public sector wage freeze and the restructuring of state-owned companies. It previously said, such reforms would increase the suffering of Tunisians and lead to an imminent social implosion.

In May, Tunisia reached an agreement with the European Union to secure a €300 million loan facility to cushion the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The North Africa country is seeking $4 billion in IMF support amid the economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, though diplomat sources told Reuters any IMF programme approved would be unlikely to reach that level.

Efforts to secure the IMF bailout have been complicated by Tunisia’s political upheavals since President Kais Saied seized most powers a year ago, shutting down parliament and moving to rule by decree.

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