The Tunisian General Labor Union warned of the difficult social situation in the country, and said that it portends social explosions, while popular activists called for protest demonstrations today, Sunday, in front of the parliament headquarters in the capital, Tunis.
The Assistant Secretary-General of the Union, Samir Al-Shafi, said – in a press statement – that denial of the social situation under the pretext of the difficult economic situation is a failed approach, and can only lead to more crises and social explosions.
Political and economic crises have been escalating in Tunisia since last July 25, when President Kais Saied began taking exceptional measures, including: freezing the competencies of Parliament, lifting the immunity of its deputies, abolishing the constitutionality monitoring body, issuing legislation by presidential decrees, presiding over the Public Prosecution, and dismissing the Prime Minister. and to form another new one he appointed as its chief.
He pointed out that the union was one of the forces that considered that the president’s decisions were “a natural result of the failure of an entire decade, and its denial of the revolution’s entitlements and the people’s aspirations to build a just social democratic state, fight corruption, and secure jobs for those who deserve it.”
Al-Shifi stressed the need for a participatory approach to rebuilding the country, options and directions, stressing that the Labor Union is looking forward to a true national dialogue in which all the forces that believe in change participate.
For his part, the head of the Al-Karama Coalition, Ahmed Balghith, described President Qais Saeed’s implementation of Article 80 of the constitution as a coup against the constitution and parliamentary legitimacy.
Balghith considered that the procedure for lifting the immunity of parliamentarians was not aimed at pursuing what he described as the issues of corrupt parliamentarians, but rather to prosecute specific MPs with political files par excellence, as he put it.
In a related context, dozens of Tunisians demonstrated in the French capital, Paris, against what they described as the coup and the exceptional measures taken by President Kais Saied.
The demonstrators raised slogans rejecting the coup against the constitution. They also condemned the freezing of Parliament and called for the separation of powers in the country, and considered that the assembly of all powers in the hands of the President is unconstitutional, as they put it.
The demonstrators also called for an immediate return to the constitutional and democratic track and the re-work of Parliament.
Meanwhile, the “Citizens Against the Coup” initiative called for a protest sit-in on Sunday in Bardo Square, opposite the parliament headquarters in the capital, Tunis, in order to end the “arbitrary state of exception” and in defense of “constitutional and parliamentary legitimacy.”
The “Citizens Against the Coup” initiative accused the authorities of obstructing the arrival of citizens to the capital to participate in the protests against the president, which it called for today, Sunday.
Member of the initiative, Jawhar bin Mubarak, said – during a press conference in the capital, Tunis – that the authorities are restricting travel agencies and means of transportation, in order to prevent citizens from coming to the capital to participate in the protests.
He held the authority responsible for obstructing anyone who wants to reach the capital, Tunis, to participate in the protests, and said that it “applies methods of repression against demonstrations and restrictions on freedom of expression.”
The majority of political forces in Tunisia reject Said’s exceptional decisions, and consider them a “coup against the constitution”, while other forces support them and see them as a “correction of the course of the 2011 revolution” that overthrew then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.