Demonstrations by thousands of Tunisians against the Economic Reconciliation bill are still running in the centre of the country. The bill was said to may allow businessmen and the Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali-era officials being prosecuted for alleged corruption to be amnestied, in exchange of paying fines and reimbursing embezzled funds.
The protests witnessed the participation of a number of the opposition leaders, including Hamma Hammami, leader of the Popular Front, Mustafa Ben Jaafar, former parliament speaker and the leader of Ettakatol party (Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties), and Zuhair Al-Maghazi, leader of the People’s Movement party.
Along with the marches against the law, others in Tunisia’s southern province of Tataouine have been protesting against employment in the province’s oilfields and the development of the region in general. They have been seeking employment by the foreign energy firms now operating in oil-rich southern Tunisia.
Speaking in an interview with Quds Press, the Tunisian journalist, Nasreddine Ben Hadid, said that:
Tunisia has had enough of complications and disturbances. The army, who has been engaged in the war on terror, should not be involved in social affairs’ issues.
He also warned the introduction to controversial bills, fuels further political differences, stressing that the “political and social unrest in Tunisia has reached its peak.”
Tunisia has embarked on a period of transitional justice since the 2011 uprising, and last year held the first public hearings of a commission on human rights violations during six decades of dictatorship.
Despite the country’s democratic progress in holding free elections and rewriting new constitution, Tunisia still faces social unrest among many young unemployed who feel their revolution against official abuses and corruption has not delivered economic opportunities.