Tunisia.. Broad rejection of President Said’s decision to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council, and partisan warnings of “serious consequences”

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Tunisian President Kais Saied’s decision to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council was widely rejected by the partisan and parliamentary authorities, who warned against compromising the Council and targeting the constitution.

The President announced that he had decided to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council and was in the process of issuing a temporary law or decree in this regard, and launched – during a meeting of the Ministry of Interior late on Saturday evening – a stinging attack on the Council, accusing some of its members of corruption.

The head of the Supreme Judicial Council, Youssef Bouzacher, replied – in an interview with Al Jazeera – that there is no legitimate legal or constitutional mechanism that would allow President Kais Saied to dissolve the council.

Bozacher accused President Saied of inciting judges by calling on citizens to demonstrate, and added that the president wants to replace the judiciary with an institution not elected by him.

In a statement, the Tunisian Judges Association announced its strong rejection of all attempts to harm the judiciary and the Supreme Judicial Council by Tunisian President Kais Saied.

The association said in a statement that what Saeed had announced was a denial of the foundations of the democratic system, including the constitutional, legal, structural and functional independence of the judiciary, and the demolition of its constitutional institutions.

It also considered it an attempt to subjugate the judiciary to the executive authority under a system in which the President of the Republic brings into his hands all the powers as described.

The Judges’ Association warned of the dire consequences of what it called climates of intimidation, intimidation, threats and calls for violence against the judges and the Council and its members.

The association announced its intention to go soon to all judges to take all militant steps to protect the independence of the judiciary and the sanctity and physical integrity of judges, according to its statement.

President Saeed announced on Saturday evening his intention to issue a decree to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council (Anadolu Agency)

Party and parliamentary rejection

The suspended Parliament Presidency condemned Saeed’s statements, stressing that any reform (of the judiciary) has its constitutional foundations and legal conditions.

Parliament Speaker Rashid Ghannouchi affirmed, in a statement, his condemnation of the president’s continued targeting of the constitution, the separation of powers, and the foundations of judicial independence.

Ghannouchi added that the president’s abuse of the judiciary comes in the context of the systematic dismantling of the institutions of democracy.

The Coordination of Social Democratic Parties – which includes the Democratic Bloc for Labor and Freedoms, the Republican Party and the Democratic Current – also announced its rejection of the Tunisian president’s announcement of his intention to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council, and recalled the absence of any constitutional or legal mechanism that would allow President Saeed to dissolve the council as he threatens and claims, according to its statement.

The three parties called on all judges, democratic parties and civil organizations to confront what they described as an outrageous attempt to subject the judiciary to the authority of the coup.

The parties deplored what they called the tense rhetoric that President Saeed has been adopting, with his supporters inciting against state institutions.

And it announced its refusal to employ President Said to commemorate the assassination of Chokri Belaid to implement what it called a personal project and a focus for individual rule outside history and far from the real benefits of the revolution in terms of justice and dignity, according to the statement of the aforementioned parties.

For his part, the head of the political body of the Tunisian Amal Party, Ahmed Najib Chebbi, called on those he described as people of free conscience to stand together to defend the independence of the judiciary and Tunisia now and not too late, as he put it.

In this context, former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki said that every comment on the decision of the coup (meaning Saeed) to dissolve the Supreme Judicial Council is a waste of time, stressing that the response must be in the street next Sunday in the capital.

Marzouki receives Chebbi at the Carthage Palace in 2014Al-Marzouki: The response should be on the street next Sunday in the capital (social networking sites)

the other position

On the other hand, the July 25 Front – which includes coordination groups supporting the actions of the Tunisian president – announced that it would engage in an open sit-in in front of the headquarters of the Supreme Judicial Council to demand its dissolution, and the accountability of those they described as corrupt.

Dozens of supporters of the front and the Ahrar coalition gathered in front of the council’s headquarters, amid strict security measures, raising slogans calling for the purification of the judicial facility, and others in support of the president’s decisions to dissolve the council.

In a related development, the Tunisian lawyer and a member of the Ahrar Al-Hadi Hamdouni alliance said, in a previous interview with Al-Jazeera, that the mistakes of the Supreme Judicial Council made everyone demand its dissolution, and that President Saeed was late in taking this step.

On the other hand, a number of representatives of Tunisian political parties and civil bodies demonstrated in the human rights arena in the capital, Tunis, to commemorate the ninth anniversary of Chokri Belaid’s assassination, amid a heavy security presence.

The protesters raised slogans denouncing what they considered an attempt to cover up the political assassinations in the country. They also demanded the disclosure of the truth about the political assassinations in the country and the accountability of those responsible.


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