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No one is above the president in Tunisia, experts say

December 13, 2021 at 6:33 pm

Demonstrators gather to protest against Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia on 10 October 2021 [Nacer Talel/Anadolu Agency]

A source close to the Carthage Palace in Tunisia has revealed to the Arabi Post that the President, Kais Saied will announce new resolutions on the occasion of the anniversary of the initial spark of the Tunisian Revolution on 17 December, 2021.

The same source added that the President is about to grab all remaining powers by declaring the dissolution of Parliament instead of continuing to freeze it, topple certain parties and restrict Ennahda Movement.

On 25 July 2021, the Tunisian President, Kais Saied, had announced exceptional measures including freezing the Parliament and he granted himself a month to activate it, but it was not done.

Final Dissolution to Parliament in Tunisia

An informed source revealed to Arabi Post that Kais Saied is examining the option of a final dissolution of the Tunisian People’s Assembly (the Tunisian Parliament), instead of continuing to freeze it, then it is expected to announce early parliamentary elections.

The same sources added that, on the anniversary of the start of the Revolution, Saied is expected to announce the establishment of a legal commission charged with drafting proposals for the Electoral Law, the Political System and the Parties, to be later submitted to referendum.

READ: Tunisia: Opposition studying action against Saied as pressure increases 

On more than one occasion, Kais Saied insinuated to the final dissolution of the Parliament instead of continuing to freeze it for more months, after considering it a “grave danger to the people.”

Political analyst Nasruddin Al-Suelmi, said that “Kais Saied is trying to resort to general or partial parliamentary elections that will enable him to control the Parliament, and then adopt the legislation he need in order to establish his project.”

Overthrowing of Parties, ‘Ennahda’ is the Primary Target

Arabi Post sources have revealed that the Tunisian President, in order to initiate dissolution procedures, will refer a group of parties that he considers accused of receiving external funding in elections to the Court of First Instance of Tunisia.

The same sources added that the decisions, which might be taken by Kais Saied, are expected to include the following parties: The Ennahda Movement, the Heart of Tunisia, the Life of Tunisia and the Free Destourian Party.

Is Tunsia's President Kais Saied ruining democracy?- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Is Tunsia’s President Kais Saied ruining democracy?- Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

The sources also noted “other potential possibilities, including paralysing the Ennahda Movement and going to general or partial parliamentary elections to enable Kais Saied taking control of the Parliament. Consequently, to adopt the legislation, he needs to entrench his project.”

The Tunisian Ennahda Movement represents a major obstacle for Kais Saied, therefore, he works to remove it from the political landscape and to paralyse it in the forthcoming period.

READ: Kais Saied reveals the Deep State’s preparation of an alternative president … who will it be?

Political analyst, Nasruddin Al-Suelmi, said that “Saied will present Ennahda Movement as kind of a sacrifice to his opponents in search of a truce that will allow him to advance in his project, also to progress in mobilising financial resources to prevent further economic collapse that he has caused.”

In a statement to Arabi Post, Nasruddin Al-Suelmi indicated that “Kais Saied will try to isolate the Ennahda Movement without repeating the Egyptian experience, in order not to provoke the international community. He will be confined to plunge it into premeditated prosecutions, which may require freezing its activities until the completion of investigations that will not be completed, or he may resort to the radical option and dissolve it totally.”

Overthrowing Electoral Lists

Arabi Post source said that “Kais Saied also seeks to overthrow electoral lists with decrees. Basically, he is going to target lists, including political figures he considers to represent a danger to him in future, such as the Speaker of Parliament, Rashed Al-Ghanouchi, and his deputy, Samira Al-Shawashi.”

The same source added that the next round is going to be against municipalities, local councils and the Independent High Electoral Commission. President Kais Saied is not going through premature elections unless he enables the Ministry of Interior to re-supervise the elections and their results.

Al-Sagir Al-Shamikh, member of the Executive Body of the Democratic Initiative “Citizens Against the Coup”, said: “It is not surprising that the President has rendered decrees or orders to overthrow electoral lists or even to dissolve parties.”

For his part, the political analyst, Nasruddin Al-Suelmi, in a statement to Arabi Post, said: “Saied is going to exploit his coordination units and committees that legislate in favour of him as the basis of his project, the same way as he exploited the Constitution and electoral laws to assume authority. Thus, he legalised his coup by law and constitution, and did not rely on anything outside of law.

Dissolution of the Judicial Council

The Tunisian President, Kais Saied, hinted at the possibility of dissolving the High Judicial Council, but it appears that he avoids confrontation with political forces and active national organisations that have unanimously refused to compromise the judiciary.

A private source close to the Carthage Palace, precluded, through a statement with Arabi Post, that the President will dissolve the High Judicial Council on the anniversary of commencement of the Tunisian revolution.

Judge Hamadi Al-Rahmani, counsellor at the Court of Cassation in Tunisia, asserted that “the President may not be able to dissolve the High Judicial Council after national and judicial alert against this trend.”

READ: Tunisia’s Ennahda slams ‘smear campaign’

In a statement to the Arabi Post, Al-Rahmani noted that “the President is going to resort to the actual dissolution of the High Judicial Council in case it abolishes the Constitution, which leads to automatic dissolution of all constitutional bodies. Or he may render legal acts and decrees to reorganise the High Judicial Council, change its structure and place it under his control.”

The speaker added that “There is a targeting of judges by the President under well-known and various pretexts such as corruption and impartiality. In doing so, he plans to reach the same result; to intimidate and silence judges and put them under control. So that judiciary becomes subject to his request in trials and cases that relate to him in his political feud.”

The Anniversary of the Revolution is the President’s Opportunity

The former leader of the Ennahda Movement and President of the “New Horizons Forum,” Abdul Hamid Al-Jalasi, said that “Kais Saied does not care about anyone, does not accept participation and moves with his convictions to the last if he granted opportunity.”

In a statement to the Arabi Post, Al-Jalasi added that “If Kais Saied is allowed to act as he pleases, he will commit further vandalism and follies. The funny thing is that, after months of systematic vandalism, many have rejoiced on just a statement he said two days ago, as if he is moving from sorcery to hypnosis.”

The Speaker asserted that “a spectrum of political forces in Tunisia who understood what happened on 25 July 2021 for various reasons and motives, are seeking to save the coup and save the one who led the coup from himself”.

The Speaker said that “the supporters of Kais Saied are ready to understand some of his past and future steps, including the dissolution of the Parliament and setting a new date for the elections.”

For his part, Al-Sagir Al-Shamikh, member of the Executive Body of the Democratic Initiative “Citizens Against the Coup”, said: “Saied, since his arrival in Carthage Palace, has been accumulating authority and expanding powers; then he started, after July 25, 2021, to form a situation suitable to him.”

The Speaker added: “The President has formed everything as he wishes, whether in the structure of the Government or in other various appointments and dismissal decisions in line with his project that aims at dismantling State and community infrastructures in order to reformulate them according to his interest.”

He added: “These steps represent a clear confirmation that, what happened on 25 July is only a literal restoration of the scene of 16 December 2010; that is, the pre-revolution with all its components, including the return to the rule of the tyrannical individual.”

He stated: “What Saied wants, and seeks to stabilise, will only further increase his isolation at the interior, especially that his supporters and backers abroad began to move away from him, as they discovered that he is the real imminent danger.”

This article first appeared in Arabic on the Arabic Post, 12 December 2021