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Tunisia: opposition creates National Salvation Front ‘to save’ country

April 27, 2022 at 12:24 pm

Tunisian opposition leader Ahmed Najib Chebbi in Tunis, Tunisia. [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Political parties in Tunisia have announced the establishment of an opposition coalition intended to rally democratic forces and “save” the country from a deepening political and economic crisis.

Ahmed Nejib Chebbi, the head of the political committee of Al-Amal Party, told a press conference on Tuesday that the National Salvation Front includes different political parties, groups and individuals so far. He added that the main goal of the Front will be to call for a national dialogue conference and support a transitional “government for salvation”.

“President Kais Saied’s decisions taken last July did not provide solutions to the crises in Tunisia, but rather complicated them, due to presidential decrees that threaten investors,” explained Chebbi. “One result of those decisions has been an external blockade on Tunisia, which has intensified the economic and social crisis in particular.”

The formation of the National Salvation Front is the first serious initiative by the opposition to move away from protests and criticism of everything that Saied is doing. The measures that he introduced last year were described by opponents as a “coup against the constitution”.

READ: Tunisia President Saied popularity drops to lowest levels

The formation of the Front springs from Chebbi’s call to save Tunisia made during a gathering of political and parliamentary figures organised by the Citizens against the Coup popular campaign in February.

Five parties have joined the front: Ennahda Movement, Heart of Tunisia, the Dignity Coalition, the Movement Party and Al-Amal Party. They are joined by the Citizens against the Coup campaign, the Meeting for Tunisia initiative, and a number of parliamentarians.

Tunisia has been experiencing a severe political crisis since 25 July last year, when President Saied imposed his exceptional measures. These included the freezing of parliament (which has since been dissolved) and the dissolution of the Judicial Council as well as the use of presidential decrees to introduce legislation.

Is Tunisia's president Kais Saied like Louis XIV, King of France? - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Is Tunisia’s president Kais Saied like Louis XIV, King of France? – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]