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Tunisia president to shorten period of exceptional measures

Kais Saied, Tunisia's president in Brussels, Belgium, 4 June 2021 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu/Bloomberg/Getty Images]
Kais Saied, Tunisia's president in Brussels, Belgium, 4 June 2021 [Dursun Aydemir/Anadolu/Bloomberg/Getty Images]

Tunisian President Kais Saied yesterday announced the continuation of the "shortening" of the period of exceptional measures he took on 25 July, without specifying a deadline.

According to a statement by the Tunisian presidency : "The extraordinary measures will be shortened and the text relating to the dialogue that will be organised … with Tunisians in the country and abroad will be examined."

"Extraordinary measures have been taken to save the state and the people, and democracy should be real, not just enjoying a superficial freedom while in reality there is only discord and hypocrisy," it added.

"Tunisia has entered a new phase in its history, different from the previous ones, which requires the design of new perceptions and new tools to manage public affairs outside the traditional frameworks and concepts."

READ: Calls for Tunisia president to set a time limit for his exceptional measures

Saied expressed his "trust in Tunisia's ability to overcome the crisis it is going through and to find the desired financial balance thanks to the hard work and involvement of citizens inside and outside Tunisia."

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.

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

The majority of the country's political parties slammed the move as a "coup against the constitution" and the achievements of the 2011 revolution. Critics say Saied's decisions have strengthened the powers of the presidency at the expense of parliament and the government, and that he aims to transform the country's government into a presidential system.

On more than one occasion, Saied, who began a five-year presidential term in 2019, said that his exceptional decisions are not a coup, but rather measures within the framework of the constitution to protect the state from "imminent danger".

READ: Tunisia Jews support president's measures, demand their property back

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