Middle East

Tunisia’s Saied says building ‘new republic’ amid political crisis

Gov’t says 86.4% of participants in online survey prefer switch to presidential system

Amna El Yafrany   | 02.04.2022
Tunisia’s Saied says building ‘new republic’ amid political crisis

TUNIS, Tunisia 

Tunisian President Kais Saied has announced plans to build a "new republic", amid a political crisis in the North African country.

We are determined “to cleanse the country and move forward in building a new republic according to the results of electronic consultations," Saied said in a televised speech late Friday.

He said the “new Tunisia” will be built with the help of “honest and sincere” citizens and will herald a “new dawn” for the country.

In January, Saied launched an online survey with the aim of "enhancing citizens' participation in the democratic transition process". The poll closed on March 20.

The Tunisian government said nearly half a million people took part in the survey, with 86.4% preferring a switch to a presidential system.

The system of government in Tunisia is a modified presidential system (semi-presidential or dual system), which includes the distribution of powers between the presidency, the government and parliament.

Opposition forces called for a boycott of the online survey, accusing Saied of seeking to consolidate all powers in his hand.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis since July 25, 2021 when Saied dismissed the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority, in a move decried by opponents as a “coup.”

On Wednesday, Saied dissolved the suspended parliament, hours after lawmakers held a plenary session to revoke his measures taken since July 25.

Tunisia has been seen as the only country that succeeded in carrying out a democratic transition among Arab countries which witnessed popular revolutions toppling ruling regimes, including Egypt, Libya, and Yemen.


*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara

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