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Tunisia: former president says Saied is ‘unable to run the country’

December 16, 2021 at 9:47 am

Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki in Tunis, Tunisia on 1 September 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia’s former President, Moncef Marzouki, has described the speech delivered by his successor Kais Saied on Monday evening as one which “deepens the crisis” in the country and confirms the current president’s “inability” to run the country, Arabi 21 has reported. “The only solution,” said Marzouki, “is to resume the peaceful struggle to get out of the dilemma.”

He added his belief that Saied has simply extended the crisis for another year, disappointing everyone, including those who support him. “They expected that he would take more radical decisions. He also lost democratic bodies and trade unions.”

Marzouki pointed out that extending the political crisis to next year is the easiest way to economic collapse. “The economy can only grow if there is political stability, without which the recession will deepen and poverty will increase.”

The former president called on democratic forces to resume the peaceful struggle to end the “coup” and consolidate the democratic transition. “Various political forces and parties are discussing mechanisms to end the coup by taking advantage of the [2011] revolution against the Ben Ali regime.”

Saied announced on Monday that the exceptional measures introduced in July will end by the end of next year. His opponents argue that the measures have strengthened the president’s powers at the expense of parliament and the government, and that he is seeking to return Tunisia to a presidential system of government.

The country has been going through a political crisis since Saied assumed executive authority and started to issue laws by presidential decree. Most political groups in the country reject the measures, and regard them as a “coup against the constitution”.

Marzouki: the icon of the Tunisian Spring