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Tunisia's judges and teachers go on strike

Teachers in Tunisia have gone on a two-day general strike on Tuesday following their failure to reach an agreement with the Ministry of Education regarding their financial and professional demands.

Tunisian radio quoted the head of the Union of Primary Education Teachers, Al-Msturi Al-Qamoudi, as saying that proposals made recently by the supervising authority do not meet teachers' demands. He pointed out, at the same time, that the door to negotiation is still open.

The teachers' strike comes one day after Tunisian judges went on a five-day strike to protest the draft basic law of the Supreme Council of the Judiciary.

In his statements on Monday, member of the Executive Bureau of the Association of Tunisian Judges, Sami Ben Howaidy, accused "the remnants of [the regime of] Ben Ali and his wife", along with members of the Parliamentary Committee of General Legislation Council, of trying to take the judiciary back to the time when it was making politicised rulings in line with orders from the regime. He also accused them of forcing through "a bill emptied of its substance, a bill that seeks to undermine the independence of the council and limit its powers, making it a docile tool in the hands of the executive power."

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