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Tunisia’s Ghannouchi calls for peaceful struggle against ‘absolute autocracy’

September 24, 2021 at 10:46 am

Tunisia’s parliament speaker and Ennahdha party leader Rached Ghannouchi speaks during an interview with AFP, at his office in the capital Tunis, on 23 September 2021. [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Speaker of the Tunisian Parliament and leader of Ennahda movement, Rached Ghannouchi, yesterday called on the Tunisian people to engage in a “peaceful struggle” against “autocracy”, local media reported.

Ghannouchi’s call came a day after President Kais Saied declared that he will rule by decree and ignore parts of the constitution as he prepares to change the political system.

“This is a reversal and a return to the 1959 constitution and to the absolute individual rule,” Ghannouchi said referring to Saied’s recent decisions, adding “there is no room today but to struggle.”

“We are a civil movement and our struggle is peaceful,” Ghannouchi said, describing the president’s announcement as a “full-fledged coup against democracy, the revolution and the will of the people, and the abolition of the most important democratic institutions” in the country.

“We call on our people to engage in every peaceful action that resists dictatorship and brings Tunisia back to the path of democracy,” he added.

Saied has held nearly total power since 25 July when he sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority citing a national emergency.

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