Political tensions in Tunisia set to rise


The Speaker of Parliament in Tunisia denounced as illegal and unconstitutional the decisions announced last Monday by President Kais Saied.

The Tunisian president extended for one year the suspension of parliament and announced a referendum to reform the constitution.

Political researcher Amine Ben Mami explains.

“Suspending parliament allows Said to have his own way. He wants to be the representative of the people, even if that means opposing people to the political parties, and one of the announcements in the four hours of his speech was the organisation of a consultation of Tunisian citizens on the ground and on the Internet from January 1st to March 20th. As the 20th of March is the date of independence, it will be a question of arriving at a new Constitution that enshrines the people and not one that has been adopted by the political parties”.

The announcements have sent shockwaves through the political establishment in Tunisia.

Researcher Ben Mami believes tensions are set to rise.

“The different political actors from the political parties are still in a phase, with moments of tension. A week ago there was a fire in the headquarters of the Islamist party. That raises questions at a time when this party has been completely emptied of its influence, which was the Assembly of People’s Representatives, that is completely frozen. That’s a lot. There are two parties that play the game, one that considers that the process was completely blocked and the other considers that Saied is doing this with the idea of improving the Constitution, to bring it closer to the people, and they espouse this discourse, if you like”, concludes the researcher.

Last July, President Saied dismissed the prime-minister and suspended parliament in what many claim was an attempt to remove islamist party Ennahdha from the government.

By suspending parliament, President Saied has ‘de facto’ removed Ennahdha from power.

Ennahdha has been a pillar of successive government coalitions since the fall of the regime of Zine El Abidine ben Ali, overthrown in 2011 by a popular uprising.

Source: africanews