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Ghannouchi's advisor: Kais Saied has abandoned constitutional legitimacy and we will form a civil front to resist his "coup"

Sheikh Rachid Ghannouchi (C) during an Ennahda party conference [Magharebia/Flickr]
Rachid Ghannouchi (C) during an Ennahda party conference [Magharebia/Flickr]

As political tension continues in Tunisia due to the exceptional decisions of President Kais Saied, Ahmed Gaaloul, advisor to the Speaker of the Tunisian Parliament and Executive Director of the Ennahda Movement said that the transitional provisions announced by the country's president represent a "coup and a deviation from legitimacy."

He pointed out that Ennahda is discussing with the political and civil forces in the country the possibility of forming a "civil front" to confront the coup on democracy in the country.

Gaaloul added that the decisions Saied took did not affect the authority of Parliament, as "electoral legitimacy cannot be withdrawn by an order," noting that Parliament has the right to meet anywhere in the country and take decisions it deems appropriate to end the political crisis, but he ruled out – in return – resorting to "withdrawing confidence" from President Kais Saied.

In an exclusive interview with Al-Quds Al-Arabi, Gaaloul said: "What the President of the Republic announced has closed all room for interpretation regarding the nature of what is happening in Tunisia. He clearly drives the country outside the constitution and the law.

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He added: "What happened cannot be described as measures because measures are governed by reason, wisdom and consideration of the consequences of actions. Meanwhile, Tunisians face a situation that imposes coercive power in the name of popular legitimacy. Therefore, the appropriate description for this act is a coup and a withdrawal from constitutional legitimacy."

Regarding the steps that Ennahda intends to take to respond to President Said's decisions, Gaaloul said: "Ennahda is an important part of the political and civil components of Tunisian society and the way it deals with this imminent danger to Tunisian democracy, which threatens not only Tunisians' freedom and dignity, but threatens also their daily bread, must be within the broadest civil political front and within determined limits."

He said: "So, we are in communication with all political and civil partners in order to unite our vision, effort and programme, including the expression of free civil popular opinion. One of the most important gains of the revolution of freedom and dignity is the acquired right of Tunisians to demonstrate and express opinion, and this is a right that we support and defend. It is one of the mechanisms of democratic practices, especially in the face of a coup."

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