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Where is Tunisia heading?

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 June 03, 2021 in Brussels, Belgium [Olivier Matthys/Getty Images]

Tunisian President, Kais Saied, continues his coup against the Constitution and extends the State of Emergency, exceptional laws, freezing parliament, lifting immunity from parliamentarians, and abolishing all oversight bodies. He has turned an exceptional situation into a permanent state of affairs as if there was no Revolution, nothing has changed and a new reality has not been imposed on the country.

Saied, alone, holds all the executive, legislative and judicial powers in his hands and he has taken Tunisia back to the era of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, when totalitarianism, dictatorship, and individual rule were the order of the day. He is even taking Tunisia back to the 1950s and 1960s, during the time of Bourguiba—except that he lacks Bourguiba's honourable qualifications, capability, and history in the struggle against the French occupation, which allowed his Opposition to forgive many of his mistakes and missteps. Saied does not even possess Zin El Abidine's skills that would enable him to rule alone. He has arisen from the unknown, from outside the world of politics and it is ironic that he hails from the Judiciary, from the Constitutional Court, which he is working against and whose work was stopped in accordance with the Constitution that was brought by the Jasmine Revolution.  He has attacked and eliminated all its gains, without which he would not have been able to set foot in the Presidential Palace.

READ: 'No room for consultation in forming next government', says Saied

Is Tunisia's state of emergency being used to restrict freedoms? - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Is Tunisia's state of emergency being used to restrict freedoms? – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Kais Saied's coup means that he is the State and the State is Kais Saied; if he could, he would have said this explicitly, like the King of France, Louis XIV, nicknamed the "Sun King" in the Middle Ages, who said, "I am the State."

Many people wonder whether Kais Saied is mentally stable or if he is suffering from paranoia and fear. In media appearances, he seems tense and his manner of speaking suggests that there is an imbalance in his psychological and mental capacity. Most notable since his coup is his excessive anger and stubbornness, as he is unwilling to hear anyone opposing him. From his point of view, everyone is a traitor, agent, mercenary and has been bribed. He openly announced to the public that he is willing to indict anyone who opposes his tyranny and his coup against the Constitution. He is constantly stating that his platforms are ready to shoot missiles at the corrupt and those who he deems opposed to his dictatorship, claiming that everyone is corrupt except him.

He reminds us of the Libyan President, Muammar Gaddafi, who described his opponents as stray dogs, and Bashar Al-Assad, who described the free revolutionaries as germs and rats, and that they have an incurable disease. Even former Tunisian President, Moncef Marzouki, has stated that he is suffering from paranoia. When he appointed Najla Bouden as prime minister who, like him, is also an unknown figure, he arrogantly said he did not have the time to consult with the parties and hear their arguments!

He brought in this unknown lady so that she would follow his orders and he could dictate all his decisions to her—meaning, he appointed a secretary. This is despite all the executive powers granted by the Constitution to the prime minister and prohibited to the head of state. However, Kais Saied has literally torn and burned down the Constitution. Dozens of people were prompted, by Saied's actions, to stage a desperate protest. Thousands took to the street in mass protests that filled the streets of Tunisia calling for the overthrow of Kais Saied.

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

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

He chose a woman to head the government in order for her to be his mediator in the eyes of the hypocritical West which calls for the empowerment of women, and she will act as the front for his blatant coup. He may win over some women, thus easing the pressure on him.

It has been nearly two months since Saied's coup, but he does not know how to advance it and, at the same time, he cannot retreat. He is in a major predicament, and it appears that those plotting to destroy Tunisia and kill its Revolution have found what they need in this troubled individual. They are using him as a wrecking ball and, ultimately, once he accomplishes their mission, they will overthrow him.

READ: People hold rally in Tunis, in support of president Saied

Saied did not bring joy to the Tunisian people but, instead, brought joy to the leaders of the counter-revolution in Abu Dhabi. The Emirati media has expressed in their outlets, including newspapers, news sites, television channels, and through their electronic media their overwhelming happiness at the misleading claim of "the downfall of the Brotherhood" in Tunisia, and not the downfall of democracy.

The sun of freedom shone over the Arab world from Tunisia in 2010, but the moon escaped and disappeared in 2021 due to the Arab-American-Zionist plots, which refuse to allow the establishment of dignity and freedom for the nations. Will it shine again?

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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