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Tunisia parties warn country heading towards dictatorship

Tunisia's new President Kais Saied takes the oath of office on October 23, 2019 at the parliament in Tunis. - Saied, a conservative academic with no previous political experience who won the overwhelming support of younger voters in an October 13 runoff, was sworn in before members of the constituent assembly and other top state bodies. (Photo by Fethi Belaid / AFP) (Photo by FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images)
Tunisia's President Kais Saied in parliament in Tunis on 23 October 2019 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

Tunisia is taking "resolute steps" towards dictatorship amid a deep political crisis in the North African nation, three political parties warned on Wednesday, and Anadolu News Agency reports.

In a joint statement, the Coordination of Social Democratic Forces, which brings together the Democratic Current, the Republican Party, and the Democratic Bloc for Labour and Freedoms, cited "the frequency of security and judicial abuses against protesters and opposition, the repetition of divisive rhetoric of (President) Kais Saied's speech, and the authorities' continuous ignorance of the severe social and economic crisis" as examples to back their claim.

The parties accused Saied of using the security and judiciary "to harass the opposition" and ignoring the economic and social challenges facing Tunisians. They also renewed their commitment to confront what they termed as a "creeping dictatorship" in the country.

READ: Tunisia's Amal Party offers to form National Salvation Front with Ghannouchi

On Monday, the Tunisian President said he was working to "enable the people to express their will," while warning those who allege the country of descending towards dictatorship as "dancing on the ropes."

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis since 25 July, 2021 when Saied dismissed the government, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority, in a move decried by opponents as a "coup."

The North African country is also going through a severe economic crisis, aggravated by the coronavirus pandemic amid the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine.

Last month, Saied dissolved the suspended parliament, shortly after lawmakers convened a plenary session to overturn his measures.

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