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Tunisia is at a crossroads, says former interim president

Tunisian former president Moncef Marzouki submits his candidacy for the upcoming early presidential elections in the capital Tunis on August 7, 2019 [HASNA/AFP via Getty Images]
Tunisian former president Moncef Marzouki in Tunis on August 7, 2019 [HASNA/AFP via Getty Images]

The former interim President of Tunisia, Moncef Marzouki, has said that his country stands at a crossroads as he called for the activation of what he called "national resistance" against President Kais Saied's "coup" to restore the democratic path.

"The month of July is crucial in the history of our people, and we stand now at a crossroads," Marzouki told Tunisians in a broadcast speech on Saturday. "Either we slip under the victory of this tyrant [Saied] who depends on force, deception and falsifications, and subject ourselves to him — that will be a disaster for all Tunisians — or we topple the coup and prosecute the person who committed it along with those who supported him, and then restore the democratic path and learn from our mistakes."

Marzouki called for an escalation of "national resistance", which is currently represented by the strikes of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) and the judiciary, and the demonstrations of the opposition. "This confrontation with the regime must escalate for 25 July to be a day of mourning for the coup, so that it will not be able to deceive the Tunisians or to try to convince them of the presence of a large turnout for the null and false referendum."

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He called on young people in Tunisia to participate in what he described as "the month of national resistance" and added that, "The resistance must rise to its highest levels, so that 25 July will be the day of ending the coup, and we will return to the right path and put Tunisia back on track."

On several occasions during his speech, Marzouki called on Tunisians to demonstrate and demand the overthrow of President Kais Saied and to restore the state institutions and rule of law. He also called on the army and security forces to renounce the president and rebel against him pending his dismissal and prosecution.

Marzouki explained that Saied lost his legitimacy on two occasions: when he "turned against the constitution", and when he "turned against the Independent High Authority for Elections." In conclusion, he said that he expects that Saied will resort to fraud in the upcoming election after he filled the election authority with his own people.

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