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Ghannouchi: We reject the disruption of parliament for another year

December 17, 2021 at 4:15 pm

This combination of file pictures created on July 26, 2021 shows Tunisian President Kais Saied (L) at an electoral campaign tour in the capital Tunis on September 10, 2019 and Ennahdha Islamist Party founder Rached Ghannouchi addressing the World Economic Forum in Davos on January 24, 2014 [FETHI BELAID, ERIC PIERMONT/AFP via Getty Images]

The Speaker of Tunisia’s Parliament, Rached Ghannouchi, yesterday stressed the “absolute rejection” of the disruption of government for another year, considering the measure “unconstitutional and illegal.”

“Ending the deep crisis within the country cannot be achieved except through the immediate abolishment of the exceptional measures and engaging in inclusive national dialogue in order to unanimously form the future of the country,” he said.

In the statement Ghannouchi highlighted that any amendment to the Constitution must be made through the channels outlined in the 2014 Constitution.

This comes days after President Kais Saied announced that a referendum on constitutional reforms would be held on 25 July, and legislative elections on 17 December 2022.

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

Saied has held nearly total power since 25 July when he sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority citing a national emergency.

He appointed a prime minister on 29 September and a government has since been formed.

The majority of the country’s political parties slammed the move as a “coup against the constitution” and the achievements of the 2011 revolution. Critics say Saied’s decisions have strengthened the powers of the presidency at the expense of parliament and the government, and that he aims to transform the country’s government into a presidential system.

On more than one occasion, Saied, who began a five-year presidential term in 2019, said that his exceptional decisions are not a coup, but rather measures within the framework of the constitution to protect the state from “imminent danger”.