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Ennahda council urges 'speedy return to constitutional order' in Tunisia

Supporters of Ennahda Movement in Tunis, Tunisia, on 27 February 2021. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]
Supporters of Ennahda Movement in Tunis, Tunisia, on 27 February 2021. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]

The actions of Tunisian President Kais Saied constitute "a coup against the constitution and a paralysis of state institutions", Ennahda Party's Consultative Council said in a statement today.

Publishing details of its 52nd meeting held yesterday, Ennahda expressed "concern over the continuing governmental vacuum for over 10 days and the absence of a Head of Government appointment by the President of the Republic to form a government capable of addressing the people's health, economic, social & development priorities."

Adding that it understood the "growing popular anger, particularly among youth, as a result of economic and social failings ten years after the revolution."

The council called for "a speedy return to normal constitutional order" in order for the government to convene and work through the country's crises. This, it added, would see the "launching a national dialogue in order to implement the political and economic reforms needed in our country."

READ: Supreme Judicial Council is only body able to discipline judges, Tunisia adjudicators' body says

Ennahda, it said, is committed "to combating corruption and bringing those implicated before justice regardless of their positions or backgrounds, within the law and far from instrumentalisation of cases."

The full statement can be found below:

Ennahdha Consultative Council Statement following 52nd meeting Ennahdha Consultative Council convened its 52nd meeting on 4 August 2021 which it devoted to discussing the general situation in the country in the context of exceptional circumstances following the presidential decisions of 25 July constituting a coup against the constitution and a paralysis of state institutions, particularly through dissolving the government and suspending parliament. Following the party president's address and the presentation of political, economic and health reports, a lengthy and rich discussion was held on the causes that led to popular anger at the political class as a whole, the state of pessimism among youth in particular, the exacerbation of the complex and cumulative crisis which successive governments failed to resolve, and the political deadlock in the country. Council members also discussed the context of the extraordinary presidential decisions based on Article 80 of the Constitution and the related academic and political debates and broad criticism and rejection of these decisions- despite their welcoming by some circles- the consequences of those decisions on the judiciary, media and administration, and the critiques of the threats they pose to rights and freedoms. Following interaction and discussion with the party president and members, Ennahdha Party Consultative Council:

  • Expresses understanding of the growing popular anger, particularly among youth, as a result of economic and social failings ten years after the revolution. It holds the whole political class, each according to their position and degree of participation in the political scene, responsible for the outcome, calling all for recognition, seeking to correct performance and apologising for mistakes.
  • Expresses concern over the continuing governmental vacuum for over 10 days and the absence of a Head of Government appointment by the President of the Republic to form a government capable of addressing the people's health, economic, social & development priorities, calling for the necessity of accelerating the presentation of the new government before Parliament to obtain its confidence in order to focus on strengthening the pace of fight against the pandemic, finding urgent funds for the 2021 budget and preparing the 2022 budget.
  • Underlines the necessity of a speedy return to normal constitutional order and lifting the suspension of parliament so as to enable it to regain its role, improve its performance and arrange its priorities in accordance with the needs of this phase. It expresses the readiness of the party for positive interaction to help overcome obstacles and secure the best conditions for resuming the democratic process.
  • Stresses that the democratic process and respect of freedoms and human rights are gains for which Tunisians have paid sacrifices and martyrs and which cannot be abandoned under any pretext. It expresses its deep concern over arrests of bloggers and MPs after 25 July and the prosecution of civilians by military courts in contravention of the constitution, and fear of exploiting the exceptional measures to instrumentalise the judiciary in political disputes.
  • Calls for launching a national dialogue in order to implement the political and economic reforms needed in our country in order to bring it out of its crisis and accelerate the reestablishment of balanced public finances and national economic health.
  • Stresses the necessity of the party undertaking a profound internal self-critique of its policies during the last period and of the necessary revisions and renewal of programs and leadership structures within its 11th party congress due to be held by the end of this year in order to review its policies and position in line with the messages expressed by the Tunisian street and required by developments in the country.
  • Stresses the party's commitment to dialogue with all national actors, foremost of whom the President, in order to overcome the complex crisis, achieve social peace and implement the necessary reforms.
  • Stresses the party's principled commitment to combating corruption and bringing those implicated before justice regardless of their positions or backgrounds, within the law and far from instrumentalisation of cases.
  • Calls on Tunisians to maintain vigilance and peaceful activism for a democratic Tunisia that ends all forms of despotism, corruption and totalitarianism and all forms of extremism, exclusion and violence, in order to protect national unity and strengthen our country's sovereignty and its independent decision-making.
  • Expresses appreciation and gratitude to its party members, women and men, who demonstrated courage inside party offices on the 25th of July 2021 and the highest levels of self-control and refusal to be dragged into violence in the face of criminal attacks against a significant number of HQs and members.

Abdelkarim Harouni

Consultative Council President

Ennahdha Party

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