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Tunisia: political bloc condemns regime and warns against police state

Tunisia's new President Kais Saied takes the oath of office on October 23, 2019 at the parliament in Tunis. - Saied, a conservative academic with no previous political experience who won the overwhelming support of younger voters in an October 13 runoff, was sworn in before members of the constituent assembly and other top state bodies. (Photo by Fethi Belaid / AFP) (Photo by FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images)
Tunisia's President Kais Saied in parliament in Tunis on 23 October 2019 [FETHI BELAID/AFP via Getty Images]

A political bloc of five parties in Tunisia expressed on Wednesday its categorical rejection of the "coup authority's" iron-fist policy and security solutions in the face of growing civil society movements and the regime's apparent inability to address the economic crisis.

The bloc consists of the Labour and Republican parties, the Democratic Current, the Democratic Modernist Pole, and the Democratic Forum for Labour and Liberties. The group made its comment in response to the Interior Ministry's announcement that 12 young men had been arrested and charged for protesting against the deterioration of their living conditions and marginalisation.

The parties noted the confusion and inconsistency in the ministry and its narrative of current events. It not only rejected the narrative put forward by the people, they said, but also arrested the local mayor as well as the dozen young men. "This is an old, resurrected type of discourse made up of threats and fabricated charges, which indicates the return of a police state and its illegal practices."

Tunisia: security officers demand release of eight policemen

The bloc held the "25 July regime and its hollow populist rhetoric" fully responsible for the deterioration of the general situation in the country, including economic and social conditions. It also put the blame on the regime for any subsequent incidents which may spiral out of control and threaten the peace of civil society.

The parties expressed their "full solidarity" with the arrested youths, and demanded their immediate release. "All charges should be dropped. The coup authority should be held fully responsible for the deterioration of the situation."

Tunisia has been faced with a political and economic crisis since July last year, when President Kais Saied sacked the government and suspended the work of parliament and the judicial bodies, taking full executive and legislative powers for himself.

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