The popularity of Tunisian President Kais Saied has declined since August to reach its lowest level since his election in 2019, a new poll has revealed.
Conducted by Insights TN, the poll revealed that popular support for Saied has fallen from 49.8 per cent in August, to 42.9 per cent in September, and 29.1 per cent in November.
Support for him fell further in February, at just 23.2 per cent.
Saied faces wide criticism as a result of the deterioration of the economic situation and the rise in prices, as well as the crises related to the shortage of flour, bread and a number of other basic materials, which have negatively affected the purchasing power of citizens.
Many Tunisians believe that economic and social issues have not been Saied’s priorities.
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. In December, 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”.