After a fake coup d’état that was justified by its supposed constitutionality, a fake national consultation which failed to mobilize even a fourth of his voters in 2019, a fake national dialogue which merely featured a chorus of yes-men, Kais Saied has made haste to hatch out a fake constitution. The president submitted the draft just 25 days before a referendum in which voters are invited to approve or reject this fundamental text.
Amendment of Tunisia’s elections authority law: outstanding independence!
Several months before the referendum, Kais Saied has issued a decree-law to change the composition of the Independent High Authority for Elections (ISIE) council. Members of the authority responsible for supervising elections will now be appointed by presidential decree. The timing of this amendment has prompted divergent opinions. Is the ISIE’s independence no more?
Tunisia. New Political Groups Seize July 25 as Launching Pad
New political groupings, parties, and movements have launched or gained prominence in the wake of President Kais Saied’s decision on July 25 to suspend Parliament, dismiss the previous government, and concentrate powers under the presidency. Meshkal/Nawaat spoke with members or representatives of several of these groups shortly after July 25; they said that the president’s decisions created a new political environment with new conditions ripe for making the changes they want to see. All of them strongly criticized or denounced the political system ante July 25 as undemocratic.
Najla Bouden’s nomination: Having a Seat at the Table Doesn’t Mean You Have a Voice
I was on my treadmill exercising and watching Nicki Minaj “killing it” in one of her concerts when I saw a notification on my Facebook stating that Tunisian President Kais Saied had just nominated Ms. Najla Bouden as the new Head of Government. This would make her the first to hold such a high position in Tunisia as well as the first in the Arab world. I was excited for only a few seconds. As a Tunisian woman and a feminist who founded the association “Aswat Nisaa” to enhance women’s political participation and advocate for gender sensitive public policies, this should have been a celebratory moment! But it wasn’t for me. Why—I asked myself—am I being a joy-killer here? Am I being a “bad feminist ”?
Kais Saied and the Judiciary: A Clash of Powers?
Judiciary officials are under fire from President Kais Saied. Saied does not mince his words when it comes to the country’s magistrates, reproaching them for complicity with all kinds of corrupt individuals. Accused of promoting impunity, magistrates have defended themselves by pointing to political interference in their domain. It’s open war on a battlefield where needed reforms have been blocked.
In Tunis, Thousands Protest Against President Saied’s decisions
On Sunday, September 26, thousands of people, close to Ennahdha party and its allies, demonstrated in downtown Tunis against President Kais Saied and his latest decision extending his exceptional powers and suspending parts of the constitution. Thousands assembled in front of the National Theater on Habib Bourguiba Avenue from about 10:00 until 16:00 to denounce the recent decisions, which they consider illegitimate, calling it a “coup” and a step back towards dictatorship.
Tunisian Police Violently Disperse Peaceful Demonstrators, Journalists
On September 1, police violently dispersed a peaceful demonstration in downtown Tunis, punching, shoving, and using pepper spray against demonstrators as well as journalists who were there covering the event. Aside from some incidents in front of Parliament on July 26, Wednesday’s police repression was the first documented use of police violence against peaceful demonstrators since President Kais Saied suspended parliament and dismissed the government on July 25.
Radwan Masmoudi: Soft Power Arm of Tunisia’s Islamists
Since the president’s sweeping decisions announced on July 25, Ennahdha member Radwan Masmoudi has waged a media war against Kais Saied. A controversial figure, Masmoudi has long juggled between his activities in civil society and in politics. And this is not the first time that his statements have elicited so much controversy and raised questions about his connections both within and outside of Tunisia.
Ettarkina English Edition: What happened on July 25th
On July 25th, many Tunisians took it to the streets to protest against the political class and the consecutive failing governments. On the same day, president Kais Saied invoked article 80 of the Constitution. He sacked the head of government, froze the parliament and lifted immunity of its members. Foreign analysts ran to the conclusion that what was happening was a coup and Tunisia’s fragile and nascent democracy was threatened. In this special episode, we’ll go back to what happened on July 25th, its context and the roots of the situation.
We Experience the Facts. Tunisia is Our Country and We Live Here!
In what seems to be a confusing set of legal opinions, a number of jurists in Tunisia and elsewhere were unable to converge decisively on qualifying the nature of President Kais Saied’s decision to suspend the Tunisian parliament and sack the government on July 25, 2021. Technically sound arguments seem to be made on all sides. Saied on his part, based his decision on article 80 of the Tunisian constitution which allows the President to take exceptional measures “in the event of imminent peril,” and one can very well argue that a Parliament and a government that let 18,000 Tunisians die of Covid 19 in a year and a half are a peril already in place.
Timeline of « Coup d’Etat » Accusations in Tunisia: a National Sport
Accusations of coups d’etat in Tunisia have multiplied along with the political crises and institutional delays that the country has witnessed over the past ten years.
The Tunisian people continue their quest in the search of their new model
It’s funny enough that post-2011 Tunisia was dubbed “democracy startup”. Well, why not apply a benchmarked and proven model if the playbook was matured by other players? Because the Tunisian people, consciously or unconsciously, are exploring a new path, and searching for a new model. And that’s what startups are about. In my view the Tunisian people are a rare kind of country-preneurs. But where are they heading to? Let’s look back at the roadmap, to try to understand where its trajectory may lead.
Concerns over Press Freedom as Journalists Harassed, Detained
There have been numerous assaults and harassment of journalists by security forces, politicians and officials in recent years–with June alone seeing 18 assaults, and May seeing 13, according to the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT). However, in the days since mass protests began on July 25 and President Kais Saied subsequently announced exceptional measures concentrating powers under him, there has been a spike in such harassment.
Tunisia and the Obsolete Western political imaginary
On the 25th of July, Tunisia witnessed a major shake-up of the political landscape. Western “experts” could have predicted that. They were able to believe what they actually saw and heard. In their well-entrenched imaginary, something was decidedly wrong with this picture. The complexity was too much to handle for minds trained to see Tunisia, and the region as a whole, as easily knowable if not already known. No wonder many of them have rushed to cry foul.
Tunisia. The Protesters Who May Have Helped Bring Down Mechichi Government
Sunday’s protests are now better known by the Presidential decisions they seemingly helped prompt: a freezing of Parliament, a dismissal of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, and the lifting of Parliamentary immunity in what critics of President Kais Saied have called a coup.