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Tunisia party fires member for participating in national dialogue

Tunisian flag raised up at Belvedere Park in Tunis on 20 March, 2017 [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian flag raised up at Belvedere Park in Tunis on 20 March, 2017 [Amine Landoulsi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia's United Democratic Patriots Party (PPDU) yesterday dismissed Mongi Rahoui, one its political bureau members, for participation in the first meeting of the Advisory Committee for the New Republic.

"The political bureau decided to withdraw the membership of Mongi Rahoui from the party in compliance with the party's rules of procedure and in order to preserve its unity and guarantee the independence of its political positions," the party was quoted as saying by Anadolu Agency.

PPDU recently said it would not participate in the work of the national dialogue committees, and described Rahoui's attempt to participation as a "desperate attempt to impose his individual stance as a fait accompli."

In early May, Tunisian President Kais Saied announced the launch of "national dialogue" to help resolve a political crisis following his controversial power grab, but excluded critical opposition groups including the Ennahda Party.

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.

Tunisia: 5 parties launch campaign to abolish constitution referendum 

He appointed a prime minister on 29 Septemberand 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".

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