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Saied denies connection with Marzouki imprisonment

Tunisian former president Moncef Marzouki submits his candidacy for the upcoming early presidential elections in the capital Tunis on August 7, 2019 [HASNA/AFP via Getty Images]
Tunisian former president Moncef Marzouki in Tunis on August 7, 2019 [HASNA/AFP via Getty Images]

Tunisian President Kais Saied confirmed on Thursday that he did not file a lawsuit against former President Moncef Marzouki. "It means nothing for me," Saied stated, while Marzouki urged him to resign and accused him of being in a state of "delirium".

"I did not follow up the judgment issued against the former President of the Republic Moncef Marzouki. I did not file a lawsuit against him, and I will not pursue it since it means nothing for me," Saied added.

Saied also referred to: "Those who claim expertise while defending criminals and murderers, and try to return to the principle of separation of powers without realising that power is for the people. There are independent functions, but they are not outside the authority of the state."

"A lot of facts have been revealed in recent months. Everyone read about statements relating to previous assassinations. The Ministries of Interior and Justice have to pursue these cases in accordance with the law," Saied elaborated.

Marzouki accuses Saied of 'delirium'

Marzouki commented on President Saied's denial of filing a lawsuit: "Do not think that the man is lying or contradicting, as most politicians do. It is the pathological delirium that pushed him to rush to inspect a hole after he was informed that terrorists dug it. He also claimed that he was poisoned twice," the former Tunisian president posted on Facebook.

Marzouki called on Saied to resign from his position, urging that: "The dismissal of this idiot is an overriding necessity for the safety of the nation."

A Tunisian court issued an initial judgement on 22 December for imprisoning Marzouki in absentia on charges of "assaulting the external state security." The former president denies the charges.

READ: Tunisia activists to sue president, PM for new Finance Law

At that time, Marzouki posted on Facebook that the judgment is: "Issued by a pitiful judge on the orders of an illegitimate president (Saied)."

In early November, the Tunisian judiciary issued an international arrest warrant against Marzouki, following a statement in which he said he sought to thwart the Francophone Summit in his country, scheduled for the end of 2021.

Tunisia has witnessed a political crisis since 25 July following exceptional measures taken by President Saied, including freezing the powers of Parliament, lifting the immunity of MPs, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, sacking the prime minister and appointing a new government.

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