“Tunisian Police Detain Presidential Candidate Alleging Money Laundering”

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TUNIS, July 4 (Reuters) – Lotfi Mraihi, leader of Tunisia’s Republican Union Party and a contender in the upcoming October presidential election, was arrested by Tunisian police late Wednesday on suspicion of money laundering, according to politicians and local media.

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Mraihi’s arrest follows accusations from opposition parties that President Kais Saied’s government is influencing the judiciary to target his rivals in the 2024 elections, potentially securing a second term for Saied, who took office in 2019.

Earlier this week, a Tunis court spokesperson disclosed that Mraihi faces charges related to money laundering and the unauthorized opening of foreign bank accounts.

Abir Moussi, leader of the Free Constitutional Party and another prominent candidate, has been detained since last year under charges of endangering public security. Her party alleges her imprisonment is aimed at sidelining her from the electoral race, a claim denied by authorities.

Several other candidates, including Safi Saeed, Nizar Chaari, and Abd Ellatif Mekki, are also confronting legal action for alleged offenses such as fraud and financial misconduct. Mondher Znaidi, another potential candidate residing in France, faces similar allegations of financial corruption.

Critics of President Saied argue that free and fair elections are impossible without the release of imprisoned politicians and unrestricted media operations, claiming Saied’s consolidation of power in 2021, which included dissolving parliament and governing by decree, amounted to a coup. Saied defended his actions as necessary to combat widespread corruption within Tunisia’s political establishment.

Since last year, prominent opponents of the president, including business figures, media personalities, and political leaders, have been detained on charges of plotting against state security in a sweeping crackdown.

By Naija247news
By Naija247newshttps://www.naija247news.com/
Naija247news is an investigative news platform that tracks news on Nigerian Economy, Business, Politics, Financial and Africa and Global Economy.

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