Portuguese / Spanish / English

US to reduce aid to Tunisia as it's 'deviating from democracy'

A group of people gather outside Municipal Theater to protest Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia on May 15, 2022. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]
A group of people gather outside Municipal Theater to protest Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia on May 15, 2022. [Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency]

The United States will reduce its aid to Tunisia after its government's "deviation from democracy," the chief of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Samantha Power, warned yesterday.

"Tunisia will receive less money in the 2023 budget," Power told Congress, noting that the move had come after what it described as the Tunisian government's repression of the civil society and violation of the supremacy of law and democratic standards.

The US official pointed out that the financial aid dedicated for Tunisia's Independent High Authority for Elections would be "revisited", referring to the commission's recent reshuffle.

Tunisian President Kais Saied recently issued a decree granting him the authority to appoint the commission's members, sparking a wave of political debate about the independence of the authority.

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.

READ: Tunisia party files grievance to Venice Commission over president's violation of election process

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".

Categories
AfricaAsia & AmericasNewsTunisiaUS
Show Comments
Writing Palestine - Celebrating the tenth year of the Palestine Book Awards - Buy your copy of the book now
Show Comments