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Tunisia: 5 parties announce boycott of December election

September 20, 2022 at 11:20 am

Boxes with the ballot are seen as part of election preparations ahead of Tunisian constitutional referendum in Tunis, Tunisia [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Five Tunisian parties yesterday announced their boycott of the legislative elections which President Kais Saied called to be held in December.

This came during a press conference held in the capital, Tunis, by the Republican Party, Workers’ Party, Democratic Modernist Pole, Democratic Current and the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties.

“The five parties decided to boycott the elections called for by Kais Saied, according to the decree he issued,” said Issam Chebbi, the Secretary-General of the Republican Party.

Chebbi added in the press conference: “These elections are the last stage in the political agenda, which Saied tried to impose after his coup against the constitution and legitimacy.”

“Tunisia is not on an electoral path or atmosphere and we cannot accept the approval of this coup path at its last stage.”

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He continued: “75 per cent of Tunisians did not participate in the referendum, and therefore the constitution that Saied imposed by the de facto authority collapsed politically, morally and electorally.”

“The decree issued by Saied (regarding the elections) was not preceded by a dialogue with the parties or civil society.”

On Thursday, Saied issued an order to call voters for the legislative elections on 17 December, in addition to a decree amending the electoral law and re-dividing constituencies.

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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