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Tunisia president: 'Country can only be purified after purifying state institutions'

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]

In a speech by Tunisian President Kais Saied on Friday, he announced: "The country can only be purified after purifying state institutions of those who wanted to bring it down and tamper with its capabilities and leave the youth in misery and deprivation."

The speech was published by the Presidency of the Republic on Facebook, following a meeting President Saied held with Minister of Employment and Vocational Training Nasreddine Nsibi.

The meeting was devoted to discussing Law 38 issued on 13 August 2020, related to exceptional provisions for assignment in the government sector for those whose unemployment exceeds ten years.

Saied continued: "They have sold young people false illusions that make them believe that these legal texts will be implemented, while those who drafted and approved them know that they will never be implemented."

Is Tunisia's president Kais Saied like Louis XIV, King of France? - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Is Tunisia's president Kais Saied like Louis XIV, King of France? – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

According to a statement issued by the Tunisian presidency, Saied met with a group of unemployed youth whose unemployment exceeded ten years.

For his part, Nsibi stated: "The authorities that issued the law (the mandate in the public sector) had no intention of implementing it, but rather they were seeking to lie to the unemployed."

He continued: "Saied confirmed that the public office today cannot accommodate more employees, and he clearly said that he does not sell false dreams."

On Tuesday, data from the Tunisian National Institute of Statistics showed an increase in the unemployment rate in the local market, rising to 18.4 per cent during the third quarter of 2021, compared with 17.9 per cent during the second quarter of the same year.

Since 25 July, Tunisia has been witnessing a political crisis when Saied took exceptional measures, including freezing the competencies of Parliament, lifting the immunity of his deputies, abolishing the constitutionality monitoring body, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, chairing the Public Prosecution, dismissing the prime minister and forming a new government.

The majority of political forces in Tunisia reject Saied's exceptional decisions and consider them a "coup against the constitution", while others support them and view them as a "correction of the course of the 2011 revolution", which overthrew the then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

During the past three months, the Tunisian capital witnessed protest movements in which thousands participated to denounce the decisions of Saied who began a five-year presidential term in 2019.

READ: 'Citizens against the Coup' disavows responsibility for any violence in its demonstrations

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