Tunisian President Mohamed Beji Caid Essebsi said in a speech on the occasion of the end of the administrative year on Monday that 2019 would be a critical year, as it will mark the end of the presidential and parliamentary terms, and will witness the second elections since the promulgation of a new constitution in 2014.
“We bid farewell to 2018 with its sweet and bitter moments; it was a difficult year, and there was too much tension among citizens because of the high cost of living and the deterioration of purchasing power, as well as unemployment,” the president said in his address to the people.
Essebsi is currently trying to mediate between the Tunisian General Labor Union and the government to reach an agreement over the crisis of wage increase.
“We welcome 2019 with much responsibility and optimism because it is a decisive year, in which the president of the Republic and the people's deputies will be elected in free, fair and transparent elections,” he stated.
Essebsi, 92, who has not yet announced his intention to run for a new presidential term, emphasized that the challenges that Tunisia would face during 2019, would be mainly represented by success of the legislative and presidential elections and the implementation of international commitments, in particular the Arab Summit, which will be hosted by the country next March.
The president also pointed to another international event: the Francophone Summit, which will celebrate its fiftieth anniversary in early 2020.
Essebsi admitted that 2018 was a difficult year, during which the country “experienced exceptional economic conditions and suffered severe terrorist attacks that did not diminish the determination of the Tunisians.” He expressed his hope and confidence that Tunisia would succeed and flourish in the coming years.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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