The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) called on President Kais Saied yesterday for a road map to end the ongoing "emergency" phase. In a public statement, the UGTT asked for clarification of the political vision to provide stability and the continuation of democracy-building. The union also reiterated its "absolute rejection of foreign interference in Tunisia's internal affairs."
Tunisia has been rocked by crises since July, when Saied introduced his emergency measures, including the dismissal of the prime minister and the freezing of parliament. The president also took control of the judiciary and started issuing legislation by decree.
The Assistant Secretary-General of the UGTT, Hafedh Hafedh, said that the union is committed to the need to develop a clear road map that defines the deadlines for exceptional procedures and upcoming election dates.
Meanwhile, the union's Secretary-General, Noureddine Taboubi, announced an agreement with the Minister of the Interior, Taoufik Charafeddine, to form a "joint committee" to solve the waste crisis in Sfax governorate. Apart from the ministry and the UGTT, members will be drawn from civil society groups.
Taboubi pointed out that he had informed Charafeddine that a security solution to the country's problems was rejected. "Putting the security forces in a confrontation with the citizens might have ominous consequences," he pointed out.
He was referring to the general strike in the Sfax city of Aguereb on Wednesday, where there were clashes between demonstrators and security forces, who resorted to the use of tear gas. Ironically, the demonstrators were protesting about the "violent" security intervention to disperse protesters on Monday.
In a related context, Amnesty International said on Wednesday that military courts in Tunisia are increasingly targeting civilians. In some cases, people are being charged with "public criticism" of the president. This issue was echoed by the UGTT, which pointed out that it has been happening since Saied "announced his acquisition of wide-ranging new powers on 25 July, 2021."