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Tunisia: Saied visits Bourguiba Street on Revolution Day eve ahead of opposition protests

January 14, 2023 at 9:51 am

Tunisian President Kais Saied [Tunisian Presidency/Anadolu Agency]

Tunisian President Kais Saied carried out a tour of Avenue Habib Bourguiba in the capital, Tunis, on the eve of the Tunisian opposition’s preparations to protest against him on Saturday, the anniversary of the victory of the Tunisian Revolution.

Saied then headed to Al-Zaytuna Mosque, with tight security measures, passing through the old markets.

Radio station Mosaique FM quoted President Saied commenting on the calls to take to the streets on 14 January to celebrate the anniversary of the revolution by saying that 17 December is the date of the Tunisian Revolution, not January 14. He stressed that many citizens are present on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, not only security personnel as some claim. Saied asserted that there is no place in Tunisia for those he described as “traitors”.

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Saied’s field visits have recently increased, the most recent of which was a visit to the Bab Manara and Bab Jedid areas in the capital on 10 January.

During these field visits, President Saied pointed the finger at his political opponents, accusing them of being behind attempts to confuse and disrupt the path he launched on 25 July, 2021, and trying to cause crises.

The Tunisian opposition, with its various political spectrums, is preparing to demonstrate on Saturday to commemorate the victory of the Tunisian Revolution in early 2011 and the escape of the late former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali to Saudi Arabia.

While the majority of political forces chose Avenue Habib Bourguiba in the heart of the Tunisian capital as the demonstration site, leader of the Free Destourian Party Abir Moussi preferred to go to Carthage Palace to demonstrate against Kais Saied’s policies.

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The capital is witnessing intensive security preparations in anticipation of uncalculated developments, especially in light of the deterioration of living conditions and the increasing economic difficulties experienced in Tunisia. This coincides with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) twice postponing the discussion of a file granting a loan to Tunisia that would help it face its dire economic situation.

Meanwhile, the Tunisian Ministry of Interior issued a statement confirming its approval of the requests of some parties to demonstrate in the centre of the capital, specifying the appropriate time and place. It refused to allow the National Salvation Front, the main opposition to Saied, and the Free Destourian Party to demonstrate in front of Carthage Place, given that it is located in a security zone where demonstrations are not permitted by law.

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