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Hundreds Protest in Tunis Against Saied's Plan for Constitution


Asharq Al-Awsat


Hundreds of people demonstrated in Tunis on Sunday in a second day of protest against a constitutional referendum called by President Kais Saied that his opponents say would cement his hold on power.
The demonstration was organized by the Salvation Front, a coalition including Ennahda party that Saied dissolved in March.
It followed a similar protest on Saturday called by the Free Constitutional Party over the referendum, and a strike on Thursday by a powerful labor union over government economic reform plans, which brought much of the county to a standstill.
The head of the country's constitution committee said on Saturday he will hand over the new draft of what he described as a democratic constitution to the president on Monday, ahead of a July 25 referendum.
On Sunday, protesters marched through central Tunis to Avenue Habib Bourguiba, watched by a heavy police presence.
"Saied must leave... The people on the streets are constantly against you Saied," activist Chaima Issa told Reuters. "The UGTT (union) went on strike, and judges are protesting. Do you want to rule a people that reject you?"
Judges in Tunisia on Saturday extended their national strike for a third week in protest against a decision by Saied to sack 57 judges on June 1.
The president accused them of corruption and protecting terrorists - charges that the Tunisian Judges' Association said were mostly politically motivated.
Saied's move heightened accusations at home and abroad that he has consolidated one-man rule after assuming executive powers last summer and setting aside the 2014 constitution to rule by decree.

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