Tunisia pardons thousands with corrupt pasts, amid protest

Tunisia’s Parliament has adopted a hotly disputed law giving amnesty to thousands of people linked to corruption under its pre-revolution authoritarian regime.

Demonstrators protested outside the legislature saying they fear a return to Tunisia’s pre-Arab Spring past. After an unusually angry debate and opposition walkout over the measure, it passed by 117 votes to nine in a Wednesday night vote.

The 90-year-old president argued the “economic reconciliation” law will improve the investment climate and help the country move forward. But critics say it’s a step backward.

The full amnesty only concerns those who followed orders from corrupt leaders but did not make personal gains. Those who made money off corrupt dealings can pay back the sums and a penalty in exchange for freedom from prosecution.

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