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Tunisia facing imminent danger, ex-chief of staff warns

Nadia Akacha, the Tunisian President Kais Saied's Chief of Staff in Tunis, Tunisia on 2 September 2020 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]
Nadia Akacha, the Tunisian President Kais Saied's Chief of Staff in Tunis, Tunisia on 2 September 2020 [FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images]

Tunisia is facing a "stifling political crisis" that represents an "imminent, and grave danger" unprecedented in the country's modern history, President Kais Saied's former chief of staff warned yesterday.

Nadia Akacha, nicknamed the Iron Woman, the second Governor of Carthage surprised everyone on 24 January when she submitted her resignation citing "fundamental differences in viewpoints related to the higher interest of the nation".

In a post on Facebook Akacha praised last year's coup, saying it was "a decisive moment in the history of Tunisia" that aimed to cleanse the country of "political rot that preceded it, the corruption that devastated state institutions, and the neglect of the rights of Tunisian women and men".

"July 25 was a decisive moment, a historic decision, and a national path that was supposed to be based on a clear methodology, an inclusive democratic process, and on firm foundations to build a state of law in which freedoms and institutions are respected," she added.

READ: Tunisia's Saied has lost his legitimacy, may falsify elections, ex-president warns

"Unfortunately, this moment and this path were seized by someone who has no honour, no religion, no patriotism and by a group of losers who do not understand anything other than mastering vulgarity, distortion and deception," Akacha added.

"Where is Tunisia today in terms of the economic and financial crisis, and inability to find a serious and clear economic reform programme based on correct data that would enable us to discuss an agreement with the International Monetary Fund?"

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.

Middle East Eye had previously revealed that Akacha's office had a copy of a plan in which Saied was due to take steps to declare a "constitutional dictatorship", which the authors of the document said would be a tool for "concentrating all powers in the hand of the president of the republic".

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