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TUNIS: Tunisian President Kais Saied on Sunday dissolved a top independent judicial watchdog accusing it of bias, the latest controversial move since he sacked the government last year.

Saied has broadened his grip on power since July 25, when he sacked the government and froze parliament before moving to rule by decree in Tunisia — the cradle of the 2011 Arab Spring uprisings that ousted a series of autocratic leaders.

Many in the North African nation welcomed his moves against a political system described as corrupt and ineffective, in the only democracy to have emerged from the revolts.

But political figures and rights groups have warned of a slide towards authoritarianism, and world leaders have expressed deep concern.

In a move sparking further unease, Saied early Sunday announced he was dissolving the Supreme Judicial Council (CSM) during a meeting with government ministers. The council “is a thing of the past”, he said according to video footage released by the Tunisian presidency.

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