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Tunisian parties form bloc to counter president’s power seizure

4 parties warn Kais Saied’s measures may lead to collapse of Tunisian state

Amna El Yaferni   | 28.09.2021
Tunisian parties form bloc to counter president’s power seizure FILE PHOTO

TUNIS, Tunisia

Four Tunisian parties announced on Tuesday the formation of the so-called Coordination of Democratic Forces against the "exceptional measures" taken by President Kais Saied.

The announcement came during a press conference held in the capital Tunis by the Democratic Current, Afek Tounes, the Republican Party, and the Democratic Bloc for Labor and Freedoms.

Ghazi Chaouachi, the Secretary-General of the Democratic Current, said the new front aims to "support every reform path and achieve political stability and social justice in Tunisia.”

On July 25, Saied ousted the government, suspended the parliament, and assumed executive authority. While he insists that his "exceptional measures" are meant to "save" the country, critics accuse him of orchestrating a coup.

Chaouachi warned that Saied's decisions may "lead to the overthrow of the democratic transition and cause the collapse of the entire pillars of the Tunisian state.”

He added that since Saied’s decisions two months ago, the country has been “in a state of neglect and complete paralysis."

Chaouachi accused the Tunisian president of seeking to consolidate power and change the constitution, going on to call for "a quick return to the constitution and the holding of new elections” to resolve the country’s crisis and avoid “chaos, violence and civil war."

For his part, the Secretary-General of the Republican Party, Issam Chebbi, said the coordination “will not accept a constitution tailored to (suit) the president."

Meanwhile, Khalil Al-Zawiya, the Secretary-General of the Democratic Bloc for Labor and Freedoms, said the path taken by Saied “must be corrected in a participatory manner” to avert a looming crisis.

Afaq Tounes Party’s Secretary-General Fadel Abdel Kafi said "the coordination of the four parties believes in the revolution and democracy.”

The majority of parties in Tunisia reject Saied’s “exceptional measures”, with some accusing him of orchestrating a coup against the constitution.

Other parties, however, think Saied’s decisions are correct in light of the political, economic and health crises the North African country.

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

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