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Tunisia president slams Salvation Front for supporting opponents

TUNIS, TUNISIA - JUNE 21: Tunisian President Kais Saied speaks to press as he arrives Tunis-Carthage International Airport to bid farewell to the prospective Hajj pilgrims before their departure to Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj pilgrimage in Tunis, Tunisia on July 21, 2022. ( Yassine Gaidi - Anadolu Agency )
Tunisian President Kais Saied in Tunis, Tunisia on July 21, 2022 [Yassine Gaidi/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied has slammed the National Salvation Front for supporting opponents of the new constitution, the electoral decree, and the new system of government.

"Whoever talks about salvation should know that he will be disposed of," Saied said during a public event held on Saturday in the city of Beni Khiar, adding "salvation from whom? "

"What dictatorship? Who had been persecuted for his position? We moved from the one party to the one lobby," he continued.

Saied's statements come hours after the National Salvation Front held a meeting during which its members accused Saied of targeting the Front and announced preparation to join protests in mid-October.

"Either we live as masters or we die for this country, and death does not frighten us. Death is better than life without dignity. The issue is not a citizenship issue, but every person who lives in a country has the right to its wealth," he added.

Tunisia has a new constitution after the 25 July referendum which was boycotted by the majority of opposition groups. Opponents argue that it will reverse Tunisia's democratic achievements from the 2011 revolution by allegedly giving Said unchecked powers.

READ: Tunisia, National Salvation Front seeks to form national salvation government

Saied responded to those who criticised the new constitution, claiming it contains much more rights than the ones included in the 2014 constitution, adding: "Why did they not focus on the Constitutional Court in 2015? They had no intention of creating it."

He added that many institutions had been set up to destroy the state from within, but "Tunisia is a united state and will remain united within the framework of the law and the new legislation, and truly responsive to the demands of Tunisians everywhere."

Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis that aggravated the country's economic conditions since Saied ousted the government, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority in July 2021. He later dissolved the assembly after lawmakers held a session to challenge his measures.

While Saied insists that his measures were meant to "save" the country, critics have accused him of orchestrating a coup.

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