The political and economic situation in Tunisia continues in its decay and settles in total vagueness since President Kais Saied assumed all powers, leaving the head of government, Najla Bouden, on the sidelines. Was it premeditated?
While in Tunisia the prime minister is the chief executive and the president does not have broad decision-making powers under the constitution, since the enthronement of Kais Saied, leadership issues began to arise when the head of state found himself in open conflict with his former head of government.
Since his election accompanied by great hopes for change and a way out of the crisis, Kais Saied did not want to play the role of “inactive” president, on the contrary he wanted to be omnipresent, omniscient, he wanted everything to go through him and be validated by him. alone. This situation created tensions between him and the real chief executive, and this conflict ended with the resignation of Hichem Mechichi.
Since then, Kais Saied has seized power in every sense of the word, in particular by announcing the freezing of Parliament (where he is experiencing fierce opposition), but he above all announced that he wanted to modify the Constitution judging that it does not is more topical when it only dates from 2014 and it is thanks to her that he was able to be democratically elected.
In addition, the Tunisian president has also suspended the instance of the control of the constitutionality of laws, has closed the seats of Tunisian independence bodies such as that of the fight against corruption. And, unsurprisingly, extended the parliamentary freeze indefinitely, so as not to shock Tunisians with a suspension.
If the Tunisians had welcomed the news of the freezing of Parliament with joy, because of the harmful influence of the Islamists of Ennahda who plunged the country into crisis, today the people were disillusioned by Kais Saied’s strategy which reveals his cards little by little. After getting his hands on the executive power, now it is on the judicial power on which he has set his sights.
His policy strangely resembles that practiced by Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, elected the same year as Kais Saied in 2019. The latter made an authoritarian turn in the country by muzzling the anti-system Hirak movement, by imprisoning, demonstrators, journalists, politicians, former ministers, heads of intelligence, by dissolving associations and political parties, by dissolving parliament to establish its majority…
Politicians, lawyers, and other figures on the Tunisian political scene had repeatedly denounced a “coup d’etat” by the Tunisian president, but they were rare since this position was also defended by Ennahda and its supporters.
The situation has changed since the few months of probation by Najla Bouden, the head of government, have passed, and the situation remains the same. Called for help to give credibility to Tunisia before the international community and its donors, the image of a woman head of government had succeeded in calming the strong calls of the great powers to restore democracy in the country.
Except that today, Najla Bouden, has anything but the air of a chief executive. She is absent, snapped up by Kais Saied, and it seems that she is only a simple showcase exposed to world capitals, despite her skills.
Kais Saied budding dictator?
At the present time and faced with a situation of presidential tyranny, tongues are loosened in the country and the accusations against Saied, described as a “little dictator” or “apprentice dictator” fuse, especially since the latter had presented himself in the elections. as the candidate of the people, the candidate of law, of justice, and continues to use this argument to justify its authoritarian approach.
“Kais Saied is targeting the independent bodies of the country” and is seeking to get his hands on the judiciary, declared the secretary general of the Republican party Issam Chebbi, quoted by the news site Tunisie Numérique, calling on the Tunisian president to put an end to the state of exception.
For his part, the lawyer and member of the steering committee of the Tunisian League for Human Rights (LTDH), Ayachi Hammami, launched an appeal to “save the Tunisian state”, considering that the psychological state of Kais Saied is out of step “with reality”, indicates the same source
And fears of an even darker scenario for Tunisia are being felt. The Secretary General of the Democratic Current, Ghazi Chaouachi, considered that the economic and political situation in Tunisia is “very worrying”, calling for “a national dialogue in order to save the State and escape the Lebanese scenario”.
The Tunisian president is also losing his support, moreover, Nadia Akacha, considered his eminence grise, left the ship leaving a dubious message on the situation of the country. In the leaked resignation letter from the former adviser and former chief of staff of Kais Saied, a great malaise appears in the relations maintained with the president.
“I present to you my request for resignation because of the impossibility of continuing to work with you under these conditions,” she wrote. Tunisian politicians have tried somehow to analyze this decision, and the words used by Nadia Akacha, and some voices ask for explanations.