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11 Tunisian parties announce boycott of the December elections

September 23, 2022 at 10:30 am

Election preparations continue ahead of Tunisian constitutional referendum in Tunis, Tunisia on July 24, 2022 [Yassine Gaidi – Anadolu Agency]

The Afek Tounes Party announced, on Thursday, its intention to boycott the early legislative elections on 17th December.

By so doing, Afeq Tounes becomes the eleventh party to announce its boycott of the elections after Ennahda, Heart of Tunisia, Dignity Coalition, Movement Party, Al Amal, the Republican Party, Workers’ Party, Democratic Modernist Pole, Democratic Current, and the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties.

In a statement, the Afeq Tounes party called on President Kais Saied to hold early presidential elections, based on the new constitution.

It maintains that Saied “lost his political and legal legitimacy following the abolition of the 2014 constitution that he was elected according to.”

A new constitution for the country was approved after a popular referendum on 25 July, as part of the exceptional measures that Saied imposed a year before that date and caused a sharp division among Tunisians.

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The Afeq Tounes Party called on “the Tunisian people, with all their political and civil components, to resist political authoritarianism and the deviation towards the autocratic rule.”

Afeq Tounes is one of the parties that rejected the results of the referendum on the new constitution and submitted an appeal to the Administrative Court after it decided to vote “no” on the constitution.

On 15 September, Saied issued an order calling on citizens to take part in the legislative elections in December. He also ordered an amendment of the electoral law to divide constituencies.

The exceptional measures that Saied imposed included: dismissal of the government, dissolving the Supreme Judicial Council and Parliament, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, and setting an early date for the legislative elections.

Tunisia’s political forces regard these measures as a “coup against the 2014 constitution and a consolidation of an absolute autocracy.”

Saied, who began a five-year presidential term in 2019, had said on more than one occasion that his measures were “legal and necessary” to save Tunisia from “total collapse.”

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