• Tuesday, Dec 07, 2021
  • Last Update : 01:38 pm

After power grab, Tunisia's Saied launches graft crackdown

  • Published at 06:24 pm July 29th, 2021
Tunisia
A man reacts as police officers detain a demonstrator during an anti-government protest in Tunis, Tunisia, July 25, 2021 Reuters

President Kais Saied on Sunday suspended the country’s parliament and sacked Hichem Mechichi as Prime Minister

Tunisia's President Kais Saied accused 460 businessmen of embezzlement as he launched a crackdown on corruption, days after grabbing power in what his opponents have dubbed a "coup."

Saied, who suspended parliament for 30 days and seized all executive powers on Sunday, slammed the "bad economic choices" made in recent years, during a meeting with a leader of the employers' federation UTICA.

In his comments on late Wednesday, the president singled out for criticism "those who plunder public money."

Saied accused 460 businessmen of owing $4.9 billion to the state, citing the findings of a commission of inquiry into graft under former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

"This money must be returned to the Tunisian people," he said, adding that he intends to offer the businessmen "judicial arbitration."

In exchange for dropping proceedings, the reimbursed sums of money would be injected into less developed parts of Tunisia.

Saied also asked traders and wholesalers to "lower prices" in a country where soaring inflation has eaten away at the purchasing power of consumers.

He also called for a revival of phosphate production, one of the country's few natural resources often used for agricultural fertiliser.

Gafsa Phosphate Company (CPG), a former flagship of the Tunisian economy, has seen its production collapse since the 2011 revolution due to a lack of investment and bouts of social unrest.

Saied raised suspicions of corruption that surround the industry, referring to "people in parliament who protect themselves with parliamentary immunity."

The president also announced the establishment of a crisis unit to manage the Covid-19 pandemic, supervised by a senior military officer.

Tunisia is facing a new peak in the pandemic that has provoked the anger of the public in recent weeks.

The North African country of around 12 million people has one of the worst Covid death rates in the world, with 19,000 fatalities linked to the coronavirus.

After months of political crisis, Saied seized power by invoking the constitution. 

The move was denounced as a "coup d'etat" by his main opponents, the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party.

52
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail