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Ghannouchi: The referendum was a 'farce' rejected by 75% of Tunisia

The speaker of Tunisia's parliament Rached Ghannouchi speaks with AFP in the capital Tunis, on March 31, 2022 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]
The speaker of Tunisia's parliament Rached Ghannouchi speaks with AFP in the capital Tunis, on March 31, 2022 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

The head of the Tunisian Ennahda Movement, Rached Ghannouchi, said yesterday that "the referendum on the constitution arranged by President Kais Saied was a farce rejected by 75 per cent of the Tunisian people."

Speaking to Qatar's Al-Jazeera Mubasher, he added: "The procedures on the constitution are illegal and they aim to establish a dictatorial regime that Tunisia was experiencing before the revolution [January 2011]."

Ghannouchi stressed that "75 per cent of the Tunisian people did not respond to Kais Saied's call."

"The Tunisian people have resisted and will continue to resist dictatorship, because they tasted freedom for ten years, and they will not sacrifice it, despite the past ten years not being perfect," he added.

On the opposition's options after the adoption of the new constitution, Ghannouchi said: "We, along with our people, their active forces, and the youth, will continue down the path of restoring democracy."

READ: Kais Saied has to resign after the failure of referendum

He expects Saied to pass an electoral law that "defines the rules of the game because he is keen on controlling every part of the rules of the [political] game."

"Saied will likely pass an electoral law that guarantees his supporters will win and will exclude certain parties such as the Ennahda Movement," Ghannouchi noted.

There has been no immediate response from authorities to Ghannouchi's statements.

A new Tunisian constitution that the opposition warns may dismantle the country's democracy by greatly expanding presidential powers is set to take effect after a referendum on Monday appeared to pass, but with only a 27 per cent voter turnout.

The new constitution gives the president power over both the government and judiciary while removing checks on his authority and weakening the parliament.

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