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Tunisia: European official says reform should respect democracy

Tunisian security officers hold back protesters outside the parliament building in the capital Tunis on 26 July 2021, following a move by the president to suspend the country's parliament and dismiss the Prime Minister. [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
Tunisian security officers hold back protesters outside the parliament building in the capital Tunis on 26 July 2021, following a move by the president to suspend the country's parliament and dismiss the Prime Minister. [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

The President of the Venice Commission of the Council of Europe has said that the fight against corruption in Tunisia should have respect for democracy.

"Tunisia is facing a very deep crisis," explained Gianni Buquicchio in a statement published yesterday, "caused on the one hand by the difficulties of managing the pandemic and on the other hand by the difficulties of functioning of the state institutions and by the very high level of corruption." The European official added that he is "convinced that an effective fight against the scourge of corruption must go hand in hand with respect for democracy, fundamental rights and the rule of law."

In what can be seen as a comment on the "emergency measures" taken by President Kais Saied last month, Buquicchio said that the temptation to use shortcuts to achieve quick results is strong and understandable. "But experience has taught us that any democratic and sustainable reform must be carried out with respect for the constitution, the prerogatives of democratic institutions, and the guarantees of protection of the fundamental rights of all individuals, including those suspected of corruption, from arbitrary interference."

On Thursday, Amnesty International called on President Saied to end the use of "arbitrary" travel bans, and to respect Tunisians' right to freedom of movement. The rights watchdog said that since assuming executive control of the country, Saied has used an arbitrary travel ban widely in Tunisia outside the judicial framework.

READ: Tunisia receives aircraft loaded with medical supplies from Algeria

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AfricaCouncil of EuropeEurope & RussiaInternational OrganisationsItalyTunisia
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