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Tunisia president rejects dialogue with 'traitors'

President of the Republic of Tunisia Kais Saied at the Royal Palace on June 03, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium. [Olivier Matthys/Getty Images]
President of the Republic of Tunisia Kais Saied at the Royal Palace on 3 June 2021 in Brussels, Belgium [Olivier Matthys/Getty Images]

Tunisia's President Kais Saied said yesterday he would not do deals with those he described as "traitors", Reuters reports.

"I will not deal with.. traitors and those who pay money to offend their country. No dialogue with them," he said in a video that was posted online by the presidency.

Local media have reported that Ennahda, the largest party in the suspended parliament, had paid a foreign lobbying company, something it denied doing.

"They paid nearly 3 million dinars [$1.07 millin] to foreign lobbying groups to harm their country," said Saied in the video, without naming Ennahda.

On 25 July, Tunisian President Kais Saied cited Article 80 of the constitution to dismiss Prime Minister Hicham Mechichi, freeze the work of parliament for 30 days, lift the immunity of ministers, and appoint himself as head of the executive authority until the formation of a new government. He has yet to name a prime minister.

Tunisia: Key players signal they oppose constitution referendum

Last week one of his advisers said he was planning to suspend the constitution and offer an amended version for a public referendum.

The powerful labour union UGTT rejected that approach the following day and Saied then said any amendments to the constitution must be made within the existing constitutional framework.

The union, as well as Ennahda, other political parties and Western democracies that have supported Tunisian public finances, have all urged him to quickly name a new government and to return to the constitutional order.

Saied, in his comments yesterday, said: "The government is important. But what is more important is how this government will work".

Is Tunisia slipping into a dangerous pitfall?- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Is Tunisia slipping into a dangerous pitfall?- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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