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Tunisians launch of Referendum Front to change political system

Members of the Ennahda Islamist bloc attend a parliamentary session in Tunis on January 26, 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
Members of the Ennahda Islamist bloc attend a parliamentary session in Tunis on January 26, 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

A group of Tunisian NGOs, groups, public figures, and political factions yesterday launched the Referendum Front to work on carrying out a referendum to change the country's political system, Arabi21 reported.

Spokesman of Sumud Coalition, which forms part of the new group, Hussam Al-Hami, said: "The Referendum Front will be a force that will push for carrying out a referendum aimed at changing the political system in Tunis amidst the political disputes and contradictions between the two heads of the executive authorities."

"The formation of the Referendum Front came as a result of an idea that took a long time of deliberations. We expected the country to have a democratic transitional stage following the 2014 elections and Constitution."

Through time, Al-Hami said, Tunisians noticed that the situation is getting more complicated as parliament consists of a "mosaic of political factions" with no strong majorities which are able to rule or carry out any reforms.

READ: 'Dissolving parliament is not an option'

"During every parliamentary stage, we have witnessed disputes between the two heads of the executive authorities about the power each holds," Al-Hami continued, noting that the situation became more complicated after the 2019 election as the political authority "has been completely disabled."

The current political system ratified by the 2014 Constitution, was laid down following the ouster of the late Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali by the 2011 revolution.

Since January, the country has been witnessing a dispute between the president and the prime minister with the former refusing to approve a ministerial reshuffle carried out by the latter. The matter remains unresolved and has paralysed the political process.

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