Politics, Middle East

Ennahda party calls for dialogue to resolve Tunisia crisis

Critics label Tunisian president’s decisions to dismiss gov’t, freeze parliament as “coup”

Yousra Wannas   | 31.07.2021
Ennahda party calls for dialogue to resolve Tunisia crisis

TUNIS, Tunisia

Tunisia’s moderate Islamist Ennahda party on Saturday called on President Kais Saied to engage in dialogue to avoid deepening the country’s political crisis.

"The possible and effective way-out of these problems will not be through monopolizing power, which can only increase the spread of corruption, nepotism, and injustice," Ennahda said in a statement.

On Sunday, Saied dismissed the government of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, froze the parliament, and assumed executive authority with the assistance of a new prime minister.

The move was rejected by most of Tunisia's parliamentary blocs, including Ennahda, which decried Saied’s decisions as a “coup”.

Ennahda called on the Tunisian president to “give priority to the national interest, and return to the requirements of constitutional legitimacy, respect of the law and opening a dialogue the outcome of which all participants pledge to abide by.”

It described Saied’s decisions as a “flagrant attack on principles of democracy and Tunisians’ civil and personal rights”, warning that the move drags “state institutions into conflicts and obstructing their duty of serving nation”.

“These measures that are presented as a response to Tunisians’ legitimate demands to resolve a stifling crisis are not a solution to accumulated complex problems but add new dangers to Tunisians’ plight by undermining stability and social and economic security,” it added.

The Tunisian president insists that his exceptional measures are meant to "save" the country while his critics accuse him of orchestrating a coup.

Tunisia is seen as the only country that succeeded in carrying out a democratic transition among a group of Arab countries that witnessed popular revolutions that toppled their ruling regimes, including Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.

*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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