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Voters give president near unchecked power in Tunisia

There have been new powers given to the country’s president in Tunisia after a vote that critics say risks the return of authoritarian rule. Less than a third of Tunisians voted in the referendum but almost 95% of those who did vote supported the powers being handed to President Kais Saied. Opposition groups boycotted the vote and say the results are not credible. 

President Saied has been ruling by decree for a year after he suspended parliament and dismissed the government. The new constitution will give the head of state complete executive control, supreme command of the army and the ability to appoint a new government without parliamentary approval. There will be no checks on the presidency and Tunisia’s judiciary will be weakened. The president’s rivals have said they will not recognize the new constitution, however it is expected to come into force when the final poll results are published.

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