Ennahda Warns Saied's Power Grab May 'Dismantle' Tunisia

Published September 22nd, 2021 - 07:54 GMT
Tunisian president Kais Saied
In this file photo taken on October 13, 2019 conservative academic Kais Saied celebrates his victory in the Tunisian presidential election in the capital Tunis.(Photo by Fethi Belaid / AFP)
Tunisian President Kais Saied announced earlier plans to change the constitution and form a new government.

Ennahda, the biggest political party, has accused the Tunisian President Kais Saied of staging a power grab which risked "dismantling" the state.

Saied's plans "threaten to lead to the dismantling of the state," the pro-Islamic party said in a statement on Tuesday.

"The maintenance of the exceptional measures indefinitely, along with the absence of a legitimate government and the suspension of the elected parliament threaten to lead to the dismantling of the state," Ennahdha said.

Saied's plans also risk "exacerbating the economic, financial and social" crisis currently besetting the country, the party added.

On Monday, Saied announced he had instituted transitional governing rules and would introduce a new electoral law in the unspecified future.

Habib Khedher, an Ennahda party official, on Facebook criticized Tunisian president's move, saying that implementing transitional rules was equivalent to suspending the constitution.

Saied, who was elected in late 2019, dismissed the prime minister, invoked emergency powers, and assumed all executive powers while suspending parliament on July 25.

Ennahda, Saied's arch-foe, had formed the largest bloc in parliament when the president suspended the legislature and removed lawmakers' immunity.

Meanwhile, two more lawmakers have been imprisoned by judiciary officials.

Seifeddine Makhlouf, a leader of the pro-Islamic Karama party and critic of Saied, along with Nidal Saudi were sent to jail by a Tunisian military judge Tuesday, taking the total number of imprisoned lawmakers to five.

Rights groups have criticized the use of military courts to try civilians. They have also voiced concern at travel bans for people wanted on a variety of charges.

The Ennahda party, which was banned from political activities prior to the 2011 revolution, has consistently been a member of successive coalition governments since then. 

This article has been adapted from its original source.

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