Tunisian President Kais Saied assured “prepare the exit” from the state of emergency in force since July 25, during a telephone conversation with the head of American diplomacy Antony Blinken, the Tunisian presidency said on Sunday.
Tunisia “prepares the next political steps” in order to “get out of the exceptional situation” in which the country finds itself, assured Mr. Saied to Antony Blinken on Saturday evening, stressing “his will” to bring the country back to a “normal situation” “.
On July 25, the President surprised the whole world by sacking the Prime Minister, freezing the activities of Parliament and regaining control of the judiciary.
He then promulgated on September 22 a decree formalizing the suspension of certain chapters of the Constitution and establishing “exceptional measures”, the time to carry out “political reforms”.
Mr. Saied, who has made no secret of his desire to establish a presidential political system, wants to have constitutional changes approved by referendum, before any new parliamentary ballot.
He justified his decisions with an “imminent danger” linked to political blockades and the deep socio-economic and health crisis in which Tunisia was in July. His detractors, however, denounce a “coup d’etat” and a “grabbing of power.”
To Mr. Blinken, Mr. Saied explained that he had acted in the face of a Tunisian Parliament which had “turned into a theater of clashes” where “the work was repeatedly disrupted by verbal and physical violence”.
He also stressed that the economic and social difficulties are “the essential problem” of Tunisia.
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The unemployment rate has now reached 18.4% and the country, whose growth remains weak (3 to 4% forecast for 2021), recently asked the IMF for new aid of nearly 4 billion dollars (3.3 billion dollars). ‘euros).
This amount corresponds to the deficit forecast for 2021 (9.8 billion dinars), which Tunisia intends to fill with bond issues and with the help of foreign donors including sister countries such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, already requested, for the moment without success.
In a tweet, Mr. Blinken confirmed that he discussed with Mr. Saied “recent events and government initiatives” in Tunisia, according to a US State Department statement, to the formation of the government in mid-October and to measures envisaged to face the economic difficulties.
« Dialogue national »
Mr. Blinken said he “encouraged” the president to engage in “a transparent and inclusive reform process in order to face Tunisia’s major political, economic and social challenges”.
Several international and Tunisian NGOs, as well as the European Union, called on the Head of State to restore the democratic process, by starting discussions with the opposition and reopening Parliament.
The president assured Thursday in the Council of Ministers to put the finishing touches to a process of “national dialogue” mainly involving young people, and associating the political parties as well as the powerful central union UGTT.