Tunisian president Kais Saied to enact changes in constitution amid continuing resistance

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Seven weeks since Tunisia’s President Kais Saied seized powers and dismissed the Prime Minister in a move that was labeled ‘coup’, he has announced his determined plans of changing the constitution. President Saied said in his remarks on Saturday that a new government would be formed under him and he would ensure changes in the 2014 Constitution of the country. He added that the new government would be formed as soon as possible with people having the “most integrity” chosen for the cabinet.

Saied added that the constitutions are not “eternal” and “Tunisian people have rejected the constitution” of Tunisia. Talking to broadcasters Wataniya and Sky News Arabia from central Tunis, Saied said, “Amendments must be made within the framework of the constitution.” Sources close to the president said that the suggested changes to political system of the country and amendments to the constitution would be voted on through public referendum.

No matter how logical or well intended, Saied’s ideas of amending the constitution have met with fierce criticism from his opposition. Tunisia’s most important labour union, the UGTT, too has rejected the idea of dissolving constitution and has instead called for new parliamentary elections.

Ever since July 25 when Saied sacked Prime Minister and suspended the parliament, global democracies as well as internal entities have been anxiously watching for Saied’s next move and final modus operandi.

This week saw the ambassadors of the leading economies of the G7 (Group of 7) urging the president of Tunisia to quickly move forward and form a stable government, returning to “a constitutional order, in which an elected parliament plays a significant role”.

Saied’s move of dissolving parliament though garnered international support, it pushed the country back into crisis a decade after the revolution that threw off autocracy in Tunisia to embrace democracy and triggered Arab Spring.

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