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Tunisia issues international arrest warrant for ex-President Marzouki

Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki speaks during an exclusive interview in Tunis, Tunisia on September 01, 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki in Tunis, Tunisia on September 1, 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Former Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki yesterday called the international arrest warrant issued against him by his country's authorities "a threatening message to all Tunisians."

Earlier yesterday, a Tunisian court issued an international arrest warrant against Marzouki, in the context of his statements on the failure of the Francophone summit.

Marzouki said in statements quoted by the Qatari network Al Jazeera that he was not surprised by the Tunisian authorities' decision, and that it was an "expected step" because of his stance. He added that the arrest warrant "is a threatening message to all Tunisians".

In mid-October, a Tunisian court opened an investigation into Marzouki's statements claiming that he was trying to thwart the Francophonie Summit due to be held this month.

READ: Ennahda renews rejection of Tunisia presidency's attempts to 'dominate' authorities

Marzouki told the France24: "I am proud of the efforts I made with French officials to thwart the holding of the Francophonie Summit in Tunisia, considering that organising it in a country witnessing a coup d'état is a way to support dictatorship and tyranny."

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.

This comes after violent protests broke out in several Tunisian cities criticising the government's handling of the economy and the coronavirus. Demonstrators had called for parliament to be dissolved.

The majority of the country's political parties slammed the move as a "coup against the constitution" and the achievements of the 2011 revolution.

He appointed a prime minister on 29 September and a government has now been formed.

READ: Ex-Tunisia president calls for suing his successor for 'destroying the state'

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