The Republican Party in Tunisia called on Sunday for an immediate halt to the online popular consultation process, Anadolu reported. The party also called for a national dialogue between “all the living forces” of the country.
The consultation was launched in mid-January with the aim of “strengthening the participation of citizens in the process of democratic transition”, announced the presidency. Opposition forces, meanwhile, have called for a boycott.
Tunisia has been experiencing a serious political crisis since last July, when President Kais Saied imposed exceptional measures, including the suspension of parliament and the dismissal of the prime minister. During its meeting on Sunday, the executive of the Republican Party discussed the repercussions of the current political crisis in the country. He concluded that the President’s measures failed to resolve any aspect of the crisis. “State agencies and public money should not be used and wasted on so-called popular consultation,” he said.
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Saied called for consultation to gather citizens’ opinions on political, social and economic issues. His opponents say he plans to implement changes based on this process, including amendments to the constitution intended to give him more power. The Republican Party has warned of this “danger” that the president not only controls all state institutions but also appoints his followers to key positions.
“An inclusive national dialogue must take place with the aim of forming a national salvation government,” the party said. “The country must return to the constitutional path, agree on certain political reforms and organize general elections according to clear mechanisms and a roadmap”.
Most of the country’s political and civil forces reject Saied’s measures as a “coup against the constitution”. Supporters believe it is a “course correction of the 2011 revolution” which toppled former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.