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Tunisia approved a controversial amnesty to the corrupt officials of the dictatorship

The opposition and much of civil society are opposed to the initiative, which they consider an affront to the Revolution

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Tunisia approved a controversial amnesty to the corrupt officials of the dictatorship

The opposition and a good part of civil society are opposed to initiative, which y consider an affront to Revolution

In battle over how to deal with venomous legacy of dictatorship of Ben Ali, pragmatists won Tuesday night, anor battle to idealists. The Parliament of Tunisia adopted so-called “reconciliation act administrative”, which will allow for archiving all judicial processes opened against officials for crimes of corruption committed before 2011 Revolution, first spark of arab uprisings. Now, measure is limited to those cases in which officer had not committed offence for ir own benefit. The marathoner fully lived moments of great tension, with cries, tantrums and insults that have led to your interruption on several occasions.


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The steamroller parliamentary formed by parties members of “grand coalition” Government, conservative and secular Nidá Tunis and islamist Ennahda, prevailed with resource filibusterismo of opposition, whose representatives sang national anm in full voice so as not to obstruct debate. The initiative was adopted by 117 votes in favour and 9 against, although dozens of mps were absent from Chamber. “This law will allow to revive tunisian economy. It can't be that you have hundreds of officers waiting for ir cases to be settled. We need you,” he said in a recent interview Sofian Teubal, president of parliamentary group of Nidá Tunis.

The most powerful opposition to project was outside hemicycle, in front of fences of people's Assembly. Dozens of members of youth movement Manish Nsameh (“Not forgive”, in Arabic slang), which has led to rejection of law of many civil society associations, not tired of shouting at sound of drums: “you shall Not pass!”. This was fourth time that he was debating proposal of amnesty for economic crimes filed by nonagenarian president of country, Beji caid Essebsi. In three previous years, mobilization in streets of young revolutionaries was able to slow down your approval.

“Ennahda believes in national reconciliation to rebuild country. The previous versions of bill contravened Constitution, refore, introduce amendments, and we have supported,” says deputy Jamila Ksiki in corridors of Parliament. In previous drafts, initiative also included businessmen who have been enriched thanks to corruption. Despite changes, several representatives of Ennahda, a movement outlawed under dictatorship, distanced mselves by of address, and a member of parliament islamist even accused of “treason” who will vote for initiative.

To youth movement Manish Nsameh, amendments to original text are not sufficient. “The law continues to violate Constitution and rule of law, as well as principle of transparency and establishment of truth. There is an effective mechanism to contrast statements of accused”, writes Sharfedín Kelil, one of group's leaders, who still hoped that courts will overrule law. The opposition parties have already announced that y will file an appeal of unconstitutionality. In a press conference, alleged that voting took place before evaluation of Superior Council of Magistracy, although it is not binding.

Tuesday was second blow to young revolutionaries in less than a week. A few hours before, swore to his office new members of Executive following extensive remodelling carried out by prime minister. Among new ministers, include three that already held this office in era of Ben Ali. It is Finance minister, Mohamed Ridha Chalghoum; minister of Defence, Abdelkarim Zribi; and minister of Education, Hatem Ben Salem. This last, was a leading member of single party and he was coordinator of Human Rights in 2002. With great cynicism, I walked through chancelleries of western defying horrible torture suffered in police stations and jails dissidents.

however, beyond most radical sectors, tunisian society was welcomed with indifference to appointments. “The return of men of Ben Ali had already started a long time ago, after arrival to power of Nidá Tunis in 2014,” explains political scientist Olfa Labloum. This party was created as an amalgam of trade unionists, intellectuals, opposed to islam, politicians and businessmen linked to Old Regime. In view of inability on part of successive Governments posrevolucionarios to straighten out precarious economic situation of country, as well as huge inequalities between regions, a majority of population gives back to entire political class. Analysts fear that next municipal elections, scheduled for end of year, y may register an abstention record. Far away is revolutionary fervor of that spring that astonished world.


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