Draft law to pardon corrupt businessmen sparks protests in Tunisia

Demonstrators hold flares during a demonstration against a bill that would protect those accused of corruption from prosecution on Habib Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, Tunisia, May 13, 2017. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

The Tunisian government has proposed an economic amnesty bill that aims to pardon hundreds of people who earned money illegally before the 2011 unrest.

Some say it will boost the country’s economy while others have rejected the plan. Activists are worried it will open the door for more corruption in the North African state.

The draft Economic Reconciliation bill would allow businessman to escape prosecution by reporting corrupt deals signed while President Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali was in office and repaying the proceeds.

Despite a consensus between secular and Islamist parties that helped keep Tunisian stable after the uprising, the bill has divided Tunisians between those who want to close the door on the past and those who say they cannot tolerate corruption.

Adnen Chaouachi has this report from Tunis.