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(ANSA) – Tunis, June 4 – Several scuffles erupted this morning between police and a hundred demonstrators protesting in Tunis over the referendum scheduled for July and wanted by President Kais Saied, nearly a year after he took power in what opponents described as a coup.

The police prevented the demonstrators as they tried to reach the headquarters of the Electoral Commission, which Saeed replaced its head last month in a further expansion of his control over state institutions. At the Tunis demonstration, organized by 5 small political parties, some of the participants held up banners reading “Presidential Committee = Fraud Committee”.

“The police sprayed gas on us and attacked us,” said Hamma Hammami, head of the Tunisian Workers’ Party. On July 25 last year, President Saied dismissed the government and suspended parliament, which he later dissolved in moves that raised fears that the only democracy could emerge from the Arab Spring uprisings. A referendum was called for next July 25 to “take a decision on a new constitution for a new republic.”

In addition to the political crisis, Tunisia is facing serious economic difficulties, including hyperinflation and extremely high unemployment. The debt-ridden country is trying to obtain a new loan from the International Monetary Fund of at least four billion dollars. (Dealing).

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