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Tunisia women's group: e-consultation has 'fundamental flaws'

Protest against Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia on 17 December 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Protest against Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia on 17 December 2021 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

The Independent Aswat Nissa Association in Tunisia said on Monday that the electronic consultation launched by President Kais Saied has "fundamental flaws".

"There are many shortcomings and errors in the form and content of the consultation, including the weakness of the website," Aswat Nissa said in a statement.

It considered that "a number of concerns have been raised about the inadequacies of this consultation, especially limiting the scope of participation indirectly to supporters and followers of the president, which will affect its outcome."

"The questions highlight problems without proposing solutions," it added.

In October, President Kais Saied announced that a "popular electronic consultation" would be launched in mid-January 2022.

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.

READ: Tunisia party slams attempt to force judiciary to act according to president's will

He appointed a prime minister on 29 September and a government has since been formed. Last month, Saied announced that a referendum will be held on 25 July to consider 'constitutional reforms' and elections would follow in December 2022.

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".

Founded in 2011, Aswat Nissa (women's voices) calls for encouraging Tunisian women to express themselves and take their rightful place in public and political life.

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