Tunisian courtroom jails lawmaker over corruption fees

Mehdi Ben Gharbia is the newest opposition member to come back below scrutiny amid rising considerations over civil rights.

A Tunisian lawmaker has been taken into custody after a courtroom ordered his arrest on Sunday over tax fraud and cash laundering fees.

Mehdi Ben Gharbia, a businessman, former minister and member of the secular opposition social gathering Tahya Tounes, is the newest parliamentarian to be apprehended since President Kais Saied lifted parliamentary immunity and seized management of legislative and government powers.

Shortly after Saied dismissed the prime minister and suspended parliament on July 25, Anouar Maarouf, a senior official from the Islamic social gathering Ennahdha, was positioned below home arrest over alleged abuse of authority.

Former presidential candidate Nabil Karoui, who was runner-up in Tunisia’s 2019 presidential election, was taken into custody collectively together with his brother on August 30 for “illegally crossing the border” into Algeria.

Last month, a army decide issued arrest warrants for 2 politicians from the Karama social gathering, Nidal Saudi and Saif Eddine Makhlouf. Saudi was jailed for allegedly insulting safety workers on the airport months earlier than the arrest. Makhlouf was briefly detained for accusing army judges of being concerned in what he described as a “coup”.

Tunisian police arrested Aloui Abdellatif, a member of parliament for the conservative spiritual Karama social gathering, for allegedly “conspiring against state security and insulting the army” after he took half in a programme broadcast on Zaytouna tv station on October 3.

Fourteen folks have been additionally issued arrest warrants in August for alleged monetary and administrative corruption within the phosphate sector. The former head of Tunisia’s Anti-Corruption Committee was positioned below home arrest and safety forces took management of the fee’s headquarters.

A dictatorial regime?

Saied’s pledge to clamp down on corruption following years of financial stagnation and political paralysis has been welcomed by many Tunisians.

Critics see Saied’s political manoeuvring as a coup that undermines democratic positive factors made because the nation’s 2011 revolution.

The former college professor additional cemented his one-man rule on September 22 when he declared his authority to rule by decree and ignore components of the structure.

He has pledged to not return Tunisia to a dictatorial regime and has rejected accusations he staged a coup. Yet, he has given no indication of when he’ll relinquish his new powers.

Najla Bouden Romdhane, a little-known college engineer who labored with the World Bank, was named the nation’s first feminine prime minister on September 29.

In a speech following her nomination, Bouden mentioned “the fight against corruption will be the most important aim” of the brand new authorities.

Saied has authorised a brand new authorities fabricated from members chosen by Bouden, lots of whom come from academia and are new to the political scene of Tunisia.