Tunisians protest against constitution referendum as opposition grows

By Tarek Amara

TUNIS (Reuters) -Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Tunis on Saturday in opposition to a referendum on a brand new structure referred to as by President Kais Saied that will cement his maintain on energy.

The protest led by Abir Moussi, chief of the Free Constitutional Social gathering, mirrored rising opposition to Saied since he seized government energy final yr, dissolving parliament and ruling by decree in a transfer opponents referred to as a coup.

Hundreds marched from Bab Souika Sq. within the capital in the direction of Kasbah, waving Tunisian flags.

“Tunisians are ravenous, public funds are collapsing, however Saied doesn’t care.. He solely focuses on a private venture to impose his structure.. we won’t settle for that,” Abir Moussi informed the gang.

Saied is in search of to overtake the structure to offer the presidency extra powers, in opposition to the backdrop of a tanking financial system and fears of a public finance disaster. He intends to place the brand new structure to a referendum on July 25.

One other protest referred to as by different opposition events, together with the Ennahda Islamist occasion, is predicted on Sunday to protest in opposition to the referendum and Saied’s newest decrees, such because the dismissal of dozens of judges and navy trials for some politicians.

The president’s supporters say he’s standing as much as elite forces whose bungling and corruption have condemned Tunisia to a decade of political paralysis and financial stagnation.

Nevertheless Tunisia’s major political events have stated they’ll boycott the referendum, and the highly effective UGTT labour union, which referred to as a public sector strike on Thursday, has refused to participate in talks on the brand new structure.

Sadok Belaid, the top of Tunisia’s structure committee stated on Saturday he would hand over the brand new draft structure to the president on Monday.

Saied has appointed a brand new electoral fee, casting doubt over the credibility of any vote.

(Reporting By Tarek AmaraEditing by Ros Russell)

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