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Tunisia must prepare for post-Saied phase or expect Sudan scenario, says ex-president

Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki speaks during an exclusive interview in Tunis, Tunisia on September 01, 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]
Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki in Tunis, Tunisia on 1 September 2019 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisia's former President Moncef Marzouki has called for citizens to prepare for the "post-Saied phase" or expect there to be a "Sudanese scenario" in the North African state, Al-Quds Al-Arabi has reported. This, he explained, would mean an army takeover.

"The question now is how the post-Saied phase will be," explained Marzouki. "Of course, the best scenario is the legitimate one which I have called for repeatedly, represented by the return of parliament and Speaker Rached Ghannouchi's waiver of its presidency because he is not accepted by the Tunisian people." Ghannouchi's deputy, Samira Chaouachi, must take over the presidency of parliament, he added.

"Presidential and legislative elections will be held according to their constitutional dates, otherwise we will face a Sudanese-style scenario, and every day we see the costs of such a scenario."

The former president criticised the draft constitution published recently in the Official Gazette. "It is of poor quality and a hallucination produced by one person which even those who participated in its drafting have disavowed. This means that the person who committed the coup did not take into account the opinion of the persons who participated in drafting the text."

This was a reference to President Kais Saied who, said Marzouki, has no goal but to legislate the coup and rule by individual. "So why do people waste their time discussing a trivial text given that the result of the referendum on its adoption is known in advance?" The turnout, he added, has already been determined by the authorities in advance of the poll itself.

"Have you ever seen a coup regime declaring the failure of a referendum? Its result is rejected because what is built on illegitimacy [the coup] is itself illegitimate."

If nobody takes part in the referendum on the proposed constitution, insisted Marzouki, then Saied will be "helpless". He called for civil resistance to be resumed immediately after this "farce" of a poll in order to topple and prosecute the president. "We must return to a democratic system despite its defects and problems."

READ: Tunisia Constitution establishes dictatorship

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