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Tunisia rejects foreign criticism, interference in internal affairs

Tunisian President Kais Saied casts his vote at Victory Primary School for referendum on a new Constitution in Tunis, Tunisia on July 25, 2022 [Tunisian Presidency/Anadolu Agency]
Tunisian President Kais Saied casts his vote at Victory Primary School for referendum on a new Constitution in Tunis, Tunisia on July 25, 2022 [Tunisian Presidency/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied announced on Friday his rejection of what he considers external interference in Tunisia's affairs and an infringement on its sovereignty. This came due to statements made by its partners abroad following the referendum on a new Constitution.

In a statement by the presidency, President Saied expressed his: "Rejection of any form of interference in national affairs."

Tunisia's president Kais Saied is bleeding the country - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

Tunisia's president Kais Saied is bleeding the country – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/Middle East Monitor]

"No voice in our country is louder than the voice of the people. The Tunisian state is equal in sovereignty with all other countries, as stipulated by the principles of international law. Sovereignty within the state is owned by the Tunisian people, who sacrificed thousands of martyrs for independence and national dignity," Saied expressed.

The US State Department issued a statement on Thursday in which it communicated its concern about the course adopted in drafting the new Constitution, which won the approval of more than 94 per cent of Tunisian voters, with a participation rate of 30.5 per cent. The US also shared its concerns that the Constitution could threaten human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The US State Department called for issuing a comprehensive electoral law allowing wide participation in the parliamentary elections scheduled for December.

Prior to that, the European Union (EU) also demanded an inclusive dialogue in Tunisia and a consensus on an electoral law before elections.

In Tunisia, criticism against the US position was issued by organisations and parties, including the Tunisian Order of Lawyers, the Tunisian Human Rights League and political bodies that support President Saied.

READ: Tunisia's new constitution weakens democracy

"Tunisia is a free, independent and sovereign state, and our sovereignty and independence are above all considerations. Among the principles on which international law is based is the principle of the right of peoples to self-determination, and non-interference in the internal affairs of states," President Saied expressed.

Opposition parties criticise the individual policy adopted by President Kais Saied in determining the country's future. Most of them boycotted the referendum on the Constitution. The parties claim that Saied establishes an authoritarian autocracy, which the president denies.

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