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Tunisia Labour Union warns against 'tampering' with country

Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi on February 19, 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) Noureddine Taboubi on February 19, 2021 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Noureddine Taboubi, secretary-general of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), yesterday warned against "tampering" with the country's affairs, explaining that the union rejects a national dialogue that lacks broad participation by parties and organisations.

Taboubi made the remarks on state television after a meeting with the European Parliament delegation which has been holding consultations since Monday on the political crisis in Tunisia.

"We want effective broad participation in the national dialogue and a true national charter that is agreeable to all Tunisian men and women," Taboubi said, adding that union rejects the "proposed consultations" as a reference for launching national dialogue, in reference to talks recently announced by President Kais Saied.

Taboubi warned that imposing conditions for dialogue "will have repercussions for very many years, and we do not accept it for our country, and we must not reach the stage of absurdity."

He stressed that dialogue should take place without preconditions or pre-existing results, referring to Saied's statements that national consultation should be the basis for discussion in the national dialogue to be organised in Tunisia.

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In mid-January, Saied launched "electronic national consultation" with the aim of "enhancing citizens' participation in the democratic transition process", which continued until 20 March.

The results of the consultation announced on Friday, showed the participation of nearly half a million people, and the desire of 86.4 per cent of the participants to switch to a presidential system in the country.

On Monday, the European Parliament delegation began a three- day visit aimed at holding consultations on Tunisia's "path towards political reforms and a return to institutional stability," according to a statement by the EU mission in Tunisia.

Since 25 July 2021, Tunisia has witnessed a political crisis after Saied began imposing exceptional measures, including: dissolving parliament and the Judicial Council and issuing legislation by presidential decrees.

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