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Hundreds gather to support President Saied in Tunisia

Hundreds of Tunisians demonstrated on Sunday in support of President Kais Saied and the series of extraordinary measures he has taken since last July, which have been described as a "coup" by his critics. The protesters gathered on Bourguiba Avenue in the centre of the capital, the epicentre of widespread protests that toppled former leader Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, in response to a call from a pro-Saied alliance. They held up banners reading "We are all Kais Saied" and called for the prosecution of "corrupt" politicians, echoing a frequently uttered refrain by the head of state. In early May, Mr Saied announced the launch of a "national dialogue" to help resolve the crisis, but he excluded the most important opposition groups, including his main rival, the Islamist-inspired Ennahdha party. Alongside the political turmoil, Tunisia is in the grip of a severe social and economic crisis and has requested a loan from the International Monetary Fund.

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