Four Tunisian parties announced the formation yesterday of a coordination group which rejects the “exceptional measures” taken by the country’s president, Kais Saied, since July. The group warned of the possibility of Tunisia slipping into chaos, civil war and its eventual collapse as a state.
The announcement was made during a press conference in Tunis, organised by the Democratic Current, Afek Tounes, the Republican Party and the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties.
The Secretary-General of the Democratic Current, Ghazi Chaouachi, said that the group will be known as the Coordination of Democratic Forces. He explained that it aims to “support every reform path and achieve political stability and social justice in Tunisia, and serve every soul capable of serving the interest of our country.”
To achieve its goals, the group intends to take action on the political and grassroots levels in order to prevent the collapse of the entire pillars of the Tunisian state. “Saied has neglected the state for two months since the start of his exceptional measures on 25 July, and in complete paralysis,” said Chaouachi. “His priorities are not to fight corruption and improve the conditions of Tunisians, but rather to gather powers and amend the constitution.”
He called for “a quick return” to the constitution and the holding of new elections in order to avoid this unprecedented crisis.”
The majority of parties in Tunisia reject Saied’s measures; some consider them to be a “coup against the constitution”. Others, however, see them as a “correction of the course” of the revolution, in light of the political, economic and health crises, notably the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are biased towards democracy and insist that we remain within the constitution,” the Secretary-General of the Republican Party, Issam Chebbi, told journalists. “We will not accept a constitution tailored to the president.”
The leaders of the other two parties, Khalil Al-Zawiya and Fadel Abdel Kafi insisted that the crisis into which the president has taken Tunisia can only be corrected through full political participation involving all parties in the country.
Meanwhile, some parliamentarians will be demonstrating against Saied in front of the parliament building in Tunis. They have called for a public session of parliament — it is suspended by presidential decree — to discuss the procedures for the president’s dismissal.
Deputies in the National Constituent Assembly, which drafted the 2014 Tunisian constitution, intend to protest on Saturday in front of the parliament building.