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Tunisia's National Salvation Front announces boycott of the December elections

September 8, 2022 at 12:38 pm

Tunisian politician Ahmed Najib Chebbi on April 26, 2022 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

The National Salvation Front in Tunisia (NSFT) yesterday announced that it will boycott the legislative elections scheduled to be held in December, describing the authority supervising the elections as “not neutral”.

The head of the NSFT, Ahmed Najib Chebbi, said in a press conference in the capital, Tunis, that “the elections will be held under the supervision of an authority that has been revealed not to be neutral, but rather loyal to the state authority (…) and cannot gain the trust of Tunisians.”

“For all these reasons, the NSFT decided not to engage with this coup and to resist its institutions.”

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“The NSFT supports holding early elections according to the 2014 constitution under the supervision of an independent Supreme Electoral Commission trusted by all,” Chebbi said.

“We extend our hands to all national forces (…) to reach an agreement on a national salvation government that will address the social crisis.”

On 31 May, Chebbi announced the establishment of the National Salvation Front, which included five parties: Ennahda, the Heart of Tunisia, Dignity Coalition, Movement Party, and Al Amal, in addition to the Citizens Against the Coup campaign and several MPs.

According to a roadmap announced by Tunisian President Kais Saied last December, legislative elections are due to be held on 17 December this year.

Since 25 July, 2021, Tunisia has witnessed a severe political crisis when Saied imposed exceptional measures, including dismissing the government and appointing a new one, dissolving parliament and the Supreme Judicial Council and issuing legislation by presidential decrees.

Tunisian forces consider these measures as a “coup against the constitution”, while others see them as “a correction of the course of the 2011 revolution.” Saied, who began a five-year presidential term in 2019, says he took the measures “under the provisions of the constitution to protect the state from an imminent danger.”

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