Protesters Torch District Court in Metlaoui

Metlaoui — Protesters in Metlaoui, on Wednesday, torched the district court, destroyed materials and documents and looted offices equipment.

Local residents were protesting against the preliminary results of a staffing competition of the environment and gardening company…

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Agreement to Set Up Select Committee to Follow-Up Government Action

Bardo — Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Secretary-General Hassine Abassi said that it had been agreed, as part of the National Dialogue, “to set up a select committee entrusted with following-up the action of the government, supporting it and reporting its mistakes.”

In a statement to the press on Wednesday at the end of the National Dialogue session , Abassi said that this committee, whose formation will be presented later, will be entrusted with carefully following-up the outcome of the National Dialogue and the developments in all fields .

Abassi added that a second session will be held next week with the parties’ leaders to look at some items of the roadmap relating notably to the election law and the date of next elections.

He finally affirmed that the National Dialogue which has been resumed this Wednesday “will not stop and will go on until next elections.”

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Arab Handball Clubs’ Championship Draw

Tunis — Tunisia’s EM Mahdia ,organising club of the Arab handball clubs’Championship scheduled for next March 19-29 in Mahdia, will play in Group C , according to the draw carried out on Wednesday in Cairo.

Among women’s , Tunisia’s Annour Sport of Ariana will play in Group A.

The two other Tunisian clubs, namely ASF Mahdia and AS Megrine will play in Group B…

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PM to Address Tunisian People Early Next Week

Kasbah — Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa will address the Tunisian people early next week, TAP learnt from a source at the Prime Ministry.

He will focus on the general situation in the country one month after taking office, the source pointed out.

The Premier will make a speech, give an interview or hold a news conference in his first live appearance, the source added.

Jomaa cabinet won a vote of confidence in the National Constituent Assembly last January 29.

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Jomaa, Former Lebanese PM Mikati Discuss Ways to Strengthen Bilateral Co-Operation

Tunis — Ways to strengthen Tunisian-Lebanese co-operation and exchange expertise between the two countries were discussed at a meeting held on Tuesday in Tunis between Interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa and former Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati.

In a statement, Mikati described as “fruitful” his meeting with the Prime Minister.

He said he had discussed with Jomaa the situation in Tunisia and Lebanon, according to a Prime Ministry press release.

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NcCA Commission Starts Selection of Applications for Torture Prevention Body

Bardo — The Rights and Freedoms Commission at the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) started, on Tuesday, the selection of applications for the National Authority for the Prevention of Torture.

The commission has initially pre-selected 48 candidates, 16 of whom will be finally retained at a plenary session of the NCA.

The authority’s board will be therefore set up, in accordance with the organic law No. 43-2013 of October 23, 2013 on the creation of the national torture prevention body.

136 applications were received by the commission, said its President Souad Abderrahim.

She added that the principle of parity will be retained during the selection of candidates. A recommendation will be made to the plenary session to take into account gender representation in the authority.

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Ras Jedir Border Crossing Closed On Libyan Side

Medenine — Libya shut down, late on Monday night, its side of the Ras Jedir border crossing due to management disputes between Libyan passport officers and Deraa Libya (the Libya Shield Force).

A Tunisian security source told TAP correspondent in Medenine that the “crossing will be shut down through Tuesday.”…

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“Tunisian Constitution Is Most Important in Arab Region” – Rima Khalaf

Kasbah, — “The new Tunisian Constitution is the most important in the Arab region, as it guarantees rights and liberties and consecrates the Tunisian people’s aspirations for freedom and dignity,” Executive Director for United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) Rima Khalaf.

Received, Monday evening in Kasbha by interim Prime Minister Mehdi Jomaa, the UN official congratulated the Tunisian people for the adoption of the new Constitution that she described as a “great democratic gain”. She noted with satisfaction the efforts exerted by the Tunisian government to fight against poverty and achieve a fair and balanced development between the regions.

The meeting also turned on the co-operation fields between Tunisia and ESCWA for the period to come, a press statement of the Prime Ministry reads.

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Electoral Law Must Be Adopted By End of March At Latest – Ben Jaafar

Bardo — The electoral law must be passed by the end of March at the latest, heads of parliamentary groups at the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) agreed on Monday.

They stressed at a meeting the need to provide all guarantees to ensure the running of the next elections in the best conditions.

The meeting of the parliamentary groups focused on setting the priorities of the assembly’s action for the coming period, President of the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) Mustapha Ben Jaafar told the press.

Participants decided to hold this meeting once a month for consultation.

The meeting was an opportunity to discuss the provisional authority to review the constitutionality of laws which, he said, will be established before the adoption of the electoral law.

The torture prevention authority was also on the agenda of the meeting.

Ben Jaafar called on the rights and freedoms commission to expedite the discussion of the bill on this structure.

The heads of parliamentary groups decided to devote two days per week to define priority bills, said the NCA president.

The meeting of heads of parliamentary groups has an advisory nature. It brings together members of the NCA Bureau along with groups and parliamentary commissions’ presidents.

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Eleven Terrorists Captured in Jendouba, Kasserine – Ministry of Interior

Tunis — Eleven terrorist individuals were apprehended last week by counter-terrorism units in the governorates of Jendouba and Kasserine, the Interior Ministry announced.

Five among them were arrested in the governorate of Jendouba and six in Kasserine, the Ministry indicated in a press release on Monday.

The captured terrorists extended logistical support to terrorist groups operating in the two regions, the ministry added.

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Libyan Plane Crash – Identity of Victims Disclosed By Libyan Authorities Confirmed

Tunis — The identity of victims of the Libyan military plane crash last Friday, in the Tunisian province of Grombalia, has been confirmed after the identification procedures and diagnosis completed on Sunday in Tunisia, announced the transport ministry emergency committee in charge of following up this crash.

“The Antonov 26” aircraft of the Libyan air force crashed last Friday at 1:20 AM, in a farmland in Grombalia killing all eleven passengers on board.

The aircraft had taken off from the Libyan military airport of Miitiga at 11:51 PM on an ordinary flight carrying patients for treatment.

On Saturday, Tunisia handed over the two aircraft black boxes records to the Libyan authorities to analyze the technical data of the flight.

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Interior and Defence Ministers to Be Auditioned By Heads of Parliamentary Groups

Bardo — The meeting of heads of parliamentary groups at the National Constituent Assembly (NCA) started on Monday morning and is expected to last the whole day, NCA speaker spokesman told TAP news agency.

This meeting will take stock of the assembly activities in the coming period regarding notably the election law, the provisional authority to check the constitutionality of laws and the commission entrusted with selecting members of the Truth and Dignity body for transitional justice.

The afternoon meeting will be devoted to a debate session with the Ministers of the Interior and Defence and the director general of the Customs department on the terrorism issue.

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