Tunisia : Kais Saied announces constitutional reforms followed by new legislative elections
Tunisia–Tunisian President Kais Saied announced on Monday evening (December 13, 2021) that Parliament will continue to freeze until new elections are organized and the people are consulted through electronic platforms, starting from the first of next January until next March 20.
Saied said, in a speech he addressed to the people and broadcast on state television, days before the commemoration of the revolution on December 17, that the constitutional reforms would be presented to a popular referendum on July 25 next year. It is Republic Day. ‘The Parliament remains suspended or frozen until the date of organizing new elections,’ he said. He announced that ‘legislative elections will be organized according to a new electoral law on December 17, 2022.’
Among other points raised by Saied is the penal reconciliation bill, which he intends to conclude with ‘corrupt’ businessmen in return for their undertaking of projects in poor regions. The Tunisian president also called on the judiciary to prosecute all those ‘criminals against the state.’
On July 25, Kais Saied announced, in the midst of a social and economic crisis and after months of political stalemate in the country, resorting to Chapter 80 of the 2014 Constitution, which authorizes him to take “exceptional measures” in the event of an “imminent danger” to the country, and accordingly announced the dismissal of the President , the freezing of parliament and the dismissal of the former prime minister.
Two months later, on September 22, he issued a presidential order by which he decided to freeze a wide section of the constitution and granted himself the power to legislate through decrees, and announced the extension of the measures he had taken “until further notice.” His opponents in Parliament accuse him of plotting a coup against the constitution and monopolizing powers.
Saied, who described his steps as a process of correcting the course of the revolution in the country since 2011, said, ‘Tunisia has known years of burning in all facilities, terrorism, security, high prices, rampant corruption and impunity. Hopes were great, and despair became greater.’
In his speech today, the Tunisian president stressed, ‘We will never go back.’ Earlier today, opponents of President Saied announced steps to protest against his decisions and the abolition of the 2014 constitution, and to call for the resumption of parliament’s work starting on the anniversary of the revolution on December 17.