Tunisia. Thousands march against food prices and presidential crackdown on critics | world news

Thousands of people marched through the Tunisian capital to protest the growing crackdown on opposition voices and a proposal to cut subsidies for food and other goods.

The Saturday march, organized by Tunisiawas the latest challenge to President Kais Saied, whose leadership is causing growing international concern.

Since taking office in October 2019, Mr Saied has dismantled the country’s democratic gains and unleashed a crackdown on migrants from elsewhere in Africa.

Demonstrators in Tunis chanted slogans against price hikes and food shortages, the biggest concern for most Tunisians.

Talks with the International Monetary Fund over a deal to help fund the government have stalled amid political tensions.

The IMF has called for the lifting of some subsidies and other reforms.

Mr Saied described as “unacceptable” the decision of the Tunisian General Labor Union (UGTT) to invite foreign trade union leaders to the demonstration.

“Tunisia is not a farm, a meadow or a land without a master. Whoever wants to demonstrate is free to do so, but he is not obliged to invite foreigners to participate,” he said. on the eve of Saturday’s march.

UGTT secretary general Noureddine Taboubi said he would have liked to hear a reassuring and unifying speech from the president, but instead only heard coded insults.

“We are supporters of social peace and our weapon is arguments. We are not promoters of violence and terrorism,” said the union leader.

Meanwhile, the president has come under fire after suspending a judge for failing to send a suspect to

The Association of Tunisian Magistrates said in a statement: “The Association warns against the great and unprecedented
pressure on the judiciary, after arrests and prosecutions involving political activists, judges, lawyers, trade unionists,
journalists and media professionals.

Learn more:
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Mr Saied has become increasingly autocratic since suspending parliament in 2021, a move many Tunisians hailed at the time as an effort to end the political stalemate that had deepened economic tensions and social.

Since then, Tunisia’s financial problems have worsened and the country’s legacy as the only democracy to emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings is in tatters.


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