Tunisian President Kais Saied has announced his intention to change the country’s constitution claiming that the people have rejected it. The predictable announcement sparked the ire of some political parties. In addition to this announcement, the Tunisian head of state is expected to announce the appointment of a new government in the coming days.
Kais Saied made the announcements to the media as he went to the scene of a young man’s self-immolation, on Habib Bourguiba Avenue. The 25-year-old had traveled to the capital to protest the confiscation of his plow which he used to sell produce. This is the second immolation in the space of a few days in Tunisia, and this act is reminiscent of the one that launched the Arab Spring in the country 10 years ago.
The Tunisian president declared in front of journalists that “the Tunisian people rejected the Constitution” of 2014 after revolution considering that “Constitutions are not eternal”. Thus, he considered that he respected this Constitution but that he considered it possible to introduce amendments to the text.
This news, which was foreseeable after he had decided to dismiss the Prime Minister, froze Parliament for one month on July 25 and then renewed the measure “until further notice” on August 24. He also took on the judiciary.
Kaid Saied also announced that a new government will be “formed as soon as possible” after “selection of the most upright personalities” and who are not the subject of any suspicion.
For its part, the Islamist party, Ennahdha, which controls the Parliament and is also at the origin of a political blockage in Tunisia, warned on Saturday that the suspension of the Constitution could compromise the legitimacy of all the institutions of the country.
The party estimated that the president’s tendency to seize all the powers, in particular the major files and orientations of the country, could re-emerge the era of tyranny and the Constitutions already made.
Ennahda said in his press release that he categorically refused that the 2014 Constitution be amended, saying that it is the guarantor of the legitimacy of all state institutions, since 2014.
Another party set the Tunisian president on fire during a meeting in Paris attended by Tunisians living in France. Workers’ party leader Hammam Hammami said Kais Saied was taking an authoritarian turn and paving the way for a military regime and a military government.
The latter estimated that the president intended to suspend the Constitution and instruct “his friends” to create a tailor-made one. In addition, he accused Kais Saied of being a conservative, reactionary and anti-democratic populist president, believing that he scares Tunisians and represents a danger to Tunisia.