Tunisians decry Ennahda’s ‘immunization’ law: No to sweeping exclusion!

Exclusion: Ennahda’s way to get rid of rivals

TUNIS - Hundreds of Tunisians took to the streets of the capital on Saturday to protest against a draft law aimed at excluding former regime officials from taking part in future elections, a journalist said.
The Islamist-led government in power since a 2011 uprising toppled veteran dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali has been pushing for the controversial law for the “political immunization of revolution.”
But opponents of the government said it is aimed at keeping them out of politics, and protesters gathered outside the National Assembly chanted slogans such as: "No to dictatorship."
"No to exclusion! No to collective punishment!" they chanted.
The Islamist Ennahda party that heads the government and its coalition partners Ettakatol and Congress for the Republic say the draft law is aimed at preventing former Ben Ali officials from taking part in parliamentary elections due later this year.
"No one has the right to deprive Tunisian citizens from exercising their civil rights. Tunisia is for all Tunisians," said Taieb Baccouche, secretary of the key opposition party Nidaa Tounes.
The head of the party has said that up to 60,000 Tunisians could be affected by the law on the pretext that they worked directly or indirectly for Ben Ali's government.
The draft law was submitted on Thursday to the National Assembly which is due to begin a debate on a much-delayed constitution on July 1.
The adoption of a constitution is needed to draw up a schedule for elections which Prime Minister Ali Larayedh has promised to hold before the end of 2013, nearly three years after the uprising.