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Thousands of Tunisians march against corruption law

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Several thousand Tunisians marched through central Tunis on Saturday to protest against a bill that would grant amnesty to businessmen accused of corruption when autocrat Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali was in power. reports citing to Reuters critics of the Economic Reconciliation bill say it is a step back from the spirit of Tunisia's 2011 revolution to oust Ben Ali but government officials say it is a way get the businessmen to inject some of their ill-gotten cash back into the economy.

The draft law allows businessmen to reveal stolen funds and repay them. No exact figures exist for the amount of graft during Ben Ali times but based on past investigations, officials say some $3 billion could be returned initially under the law.

Waving flags and banners saying "No to forgiveness" and "Enough Corruption", about 5,000 people accompanied by opposition party leaders and activists marched through the capital's central Avenue Habib Bourguiba.

Six years after the uprising against Ben Ali, Tunisia is praised as a model of democratic transition but it is still struggling with the corruption, economic malaise and youth frustrations that helped trigger the revolt.

For many critics the law - which has been stuck in parliament for two years since President Beji Caid Essebsi proposed it - is simply an amnesty for criminals and a way to rehabilitate Ben Ali allies back into Tunisian society.

2017.05.13 / 23:38
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