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Ennahdha calls for early elections, Tunisia tries to appease political news

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2021 07 26T175812Z 254441900 RC2HSO9THREF RTRMADP 3 TUNISIA POLITICS 2

The Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday evening that after the president suspends the parliament and dissolves the government, the Tunisian Foreign Minister called EU counterparts and Turkey and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to assure them that the opposition has called for elections.

Foreign Minister Osman Jerandi said that he explained that the extraordinary measures were temporary and his colleagues pledged to continue to support the fledgling democracy.

According to the Saudi National News Agency (SPA), earlier on Tuesday, Saudi Arabia confirmed its confidence in Tunisia’s leadership.

“Saudi Arabia reaffirms its confidence in the Tunisian leadership to overcome these situations and achieve a decent life and prosperity for the brotherly Tunisian people.”

After President Keith Said, the country fell into crisis Canceled the government With the help of the army, Tunisia’s main political parties (including Ennahdha, the largest political group) condemned the move as a coup.

According to the Tunisian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Moroccan and Algerian foreign ministers Nasser Bourita and Ramtane Lamamra also met with Said in Tunis on Tuesday.

Call for elections

Opponents of Said said they were prepared to hold elections in advance and warned against the emergence of “authoritarian regimes.”

The Ennahdha Party stated that, “for the sake of democracy,” it “prepared to conduct legislative and presidential elections in advance,” and warned that “any delay cannot be used as an excuse to maintain an authoritarian regime.”

The party also accused Said of “cooperating with non-democratic forces to overthrow the constitutional rights of elected officials and replace them with members of his own “selected cabal”.

Ennahdha’s senior leader Noureddine Bhiri stated that the party “decided to campaign peacefully to defeat” the president’s plan, saying that “national unity” is needed.

But before any elections, “Parliament should resume activities and the military end its control,” Biri told AFP.

On Tuesday, the police stood guard outside the Tunisian parliament building [Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters]

“Organized Thugs”

After the violent clashes on Monday, Ennahdha stated that “organized thugs” were used to “provoke bloodshed and chaos” and urged its supporters to “go home in order to maintain the peace and security of our country”.

As the cradle of the Arab Spring uprising 10 years ago, the young North African democracy, with a population of 12 million, fell into a constitutional crisis on Sunday.

Said appeared on national television announcing that he had Remove the prime ministerAfter that, Hichem Mecchi ordered the parliament to close for 30 days, and then sent troops to the legislature and the prime minister’s office.

The president’s action was ostensibly to “save Tunisia”. The day before, there was a street protest against the government’s improper handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, which made Tunisia one of the countries with the highest official death toll per capita in the world.

The president also stated that he would choose a new prime minister, cancel the legislator’s parliamentary immunity, and warned that the armed opposition would encounter a “bullet rain.” He later fired the Minister of Defense and the Minister of Justice.

On Monday, his supporters and opponents erupted in street clashes outside the blocked parliament, injuring several people.

The police also closed the offices of Qatar Al Jazeera, the parent company of Al Jazeera English Online.

The Tunisian parliament office chaired by Ennahdha leader Rached Ghannouchi expressed “absolute rejection and strong condemnation” of the president’s actions on Monday evening.

“Democratic Principles”

Many Tunisians expressed their support for the president. Thousands took to the streets to celebrate on Sunday night, but others expressed concern about returning to the dictatorship.

The French-language newspaper Le Quotidien wrote on Tuesday that Said’s “foot on the ant hill of parliament… surprised many people, starting with Ennahdha”.

Young democracies are often referred to as the only success story of the Arab Spring. In December 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a university graduate who could only find work as a fruit supplier, ignited a commotion throughout the region.

Tunisia is located between Algeria, facing political turmoil, and war-torn Libya, and is regarded as the key to regional stability.

US Secretary of State Anthony Brinken spoke with Said on the phone on Monday, urging him to “abide by the principles of democracy and human rights that are the foundation of Tunisian governance.”

The US State Department stated that the senior US diplomat urged Said to “maintain an open dialogue with all political actors and the people of Tunisia.”

The head of EU foreign policy Jose Puborel urged on Tuesday to “resuming parliamentary activities, respecting fundamental rights and avoiding all forms of violence.”

On Tuesday, the Chairman of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat called for “strict compliance with the Tunisian Constitution… and the promotion of political dialogue.”

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