Algeria supports the "legitimacy" of Kais Saied in Tunisia, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune has said. Tebboune also denied rumours that he mediated between Saied and Noureddine Taboubi, the Secretary-General of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), to solve the ongoing political crisis in Tunisia, Al-Quds Al-Arabi has reported.
"Algeria deals with legitimacy and will continue to support neighbouring Tunisia," Tebboune told local media. "President Kais Saied was elected by the people in a legitimate way and it is necessary to deal with the president regardless of the affection that binds us as individuals."
He asserted that his meeting with Taboubi during the recent 60th anniversary of Algeria's independence celebrations was a good opportunity to talk about cooperation between the two countries. He denied any mediation between Saied and Taboubi.
"Tunisia is a brotherly country and it witnessed a blessed revolution," insisted Tebboune. "We have never experienced anything negative from Tunisia. Algeria experienced the same circumstances that Tunisia is going through now, and it is our duty to stand with this brotherly country today."
The Algerian president denied any interference in Tunisia's internal affairs. He affirmed that the people of Tunisia should solve domestic issues themselves.
However, activists have called Tebboune's claim that Saied has political legitimacy "interference" in Tunisia's internal affairs. "We, the Tunisian people, who give legitimacy to our ruler, say to him: You have no legitimacy with 75 per cent [of us boycotting the referendum]," wrote one on social media.
The activists reminded Tebboune of his speech months ago about his country's agreement with Italy to help Tunisia return to the democratic path. That too was regarded as interference in Tunisian affairs.
Tebboune called on Tunisians to participate in the 25 July referendum on the constitution prepared by President Kais Saied. The turnout was very low, and political opponents have called the whole process a coup.