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Kais Saied reveals the Deep State's preparation of an alternative president ... who will it be?

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]

The Tunisian President, Kais Saied, disclosed an attempt by the "old regime", according to his description, to support a person who will take the role of "the saviour" to replace him. He did not reveal the name of that person, causing controversy about his statement and expectations with regard to the person he hints at. While a chief of party announced that he is the intended one.

During a meeting with Chief of the High Council of the Judiciary, First Chief of the Administrative Court and Chief of Financial Judicial Council, Saied said that the deep state utilises its media branches to prepare a specific person accused of corruption to display him as the" coming saviour, hero of Tunisia", according to his contention.

The Tunisian President appeared angry when he discussed the subject. He added that the "old regime", or as known in Tunisia, the deep state, is "seeking to regain power", criticising the recurrent appearance of the person that he did not name.

The President's statement evoked wide controversy in Tunisia, where others speculated that Saied intended to mean the President of Afek Tounes Party Alfadel abd-Alkafi.

READ: US will use sanctions against Tunisia, expert warns

Although Saied did not specify the person he intended, however, the President of Afek Tounes Party Alfadel abd-Alkafi affirmed that he is the intended person accused by the President, noting that his discourse "divides the Tunisians".

Alfadel abd-Alkafi accused President Saied of not accepting opposition, dissenting opinion and disrespecting the judiciary.

The President of Afek Tounes Party and the Chief of the Striving Group for Economic Partnership between Tunisia and France have criticised, through a Facebook post, the political class and its discourse that depends on "defame with treason, insulting and cursing", they asserted that this discourse is still the same even after 25 July.

A few days before the Tunisian President's speech, the President of Afek Tounes Party criticised the Supplementary Budget Law approved by Saied. He explained that the "tough discourse, fear atmosphere and the collective accusations of corruption have disrupted the interior investment."

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]

More recently, the President of Afek Tounes Party appeared recurrently in several local media agencies criticising Saied's policies and his adverse discourses against economists.

On 20 November, Mohammad Al-Fadel Abd Al-Kafi took the Chair of Afek Tounes Party, which is considered among the "francophone" parties as affiliated to France.

In early 2020, Abd al-Kafi was nominated to the head of government position after the failure of Alhabib Aljamli's government to gain confidence by the parliament at that time.

READ: Tunisia's half coup and the idea of a counter-revolution

Abd Al-Kafi re-nominated to the head of government position in last July, to replace the designed Ilyas Alfakfak; however, he did not succeed again.

Abd Al-Kafi was also appointed as Director General of the Tunisian Stock Market, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tunisia Stock Exchange from 2011 to 2014, and Minister of Development, Investment and International Cooperation within the government of Yusuf Alshahed. He was also appointed to manage the Ministry of Finance by proxy, with preserving the planning and development Ministry till his resignation from the government on 18 August, 2017 to appear before the court.

Abd Al-Kafi rejoined the Tunisian Stock Market again on November 2017, to be appointed as the Chairman of the Board of Directors. On 28 September 2019, he was appointed as the Chief of the Striving Group for Economic Partnership between Tunisia and France.

The Tunis Capital Court of Cassation ruled on March 2019 of reservation with regard to all charges and judicial decisions rendered against the former Minister of Finance, Fadil Abd Al-Kafi regarding the tax evasion lawsuit.

The Court of Appeal in Tunisia rendered an initial judgment on October 2018, to pay a monetary fine of one million and eight hundred thousand Tunisian dirhams, on the background of the mentioned lawsuit.

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