Econostrum | Economic News in the Mediterranean

Former president urges Tunisians to remove their head of state Kaïs Saïed

Written by Frédéric Dubessy on Tuesday, January 11th 2022 à 15:35 | Read 258 times

Moncef Marzouki intends to oust Kaïs Saïed from power in Tunisia (photo:F.Dubessy)
Moncef Marzouki intends to oust Kaïs Saïed from power in Tunisia (photo:F.Dubessy)
TUNISIA. Moncef Marzouki has further hardened his criticism of Kaïs Saïed by calling, on Sunday 9 January 2022, on Tunisians to "civil disobedience using all means of civil and peaceful resistance to force the putschist to resign, to restore legitimacy, democratic order, the supremacy of the Constitution and to give sovereignty back to the people by organizing free and fair legislative and presidential elections". It calls for the removal of the Tunisian President before 25 July 2022, the anniversary of what Moncef Marzouki defines as a coup d'état by Kaïs Saïed with the dismissal of his Prime Minister, the suspension of the activities of the Assembly of People's Representatives (ARN) and the assumption of full powers.

Moncef Marzouki is calling on Tunisians to demonstrate on Friday 14 January 2021 in Tunis and throughout the country "against the exceptional measures of Kaïs Saïed, on the occasion of the commemoration of the anniversary of the triumph of the popular revolution". In January 2011, the revolution led to the flight of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali (president since 1987) and the establishment of a new regime.

"It is no longer a secret to anyone - even to his own supporters - that the 25 July coup d'état was an even worse remedy than the evil that was eating away at Tunisia, and instead of providing the country with the solutions it desperately needed, it only exacerbated its problems to an unprecedented level of severity," he stressed in a statement. "The division of the people, the economic crisis, the threat to justice, the persistence of massive human rights violations and the deterioration of Tunisia's image in the world have marked the country since 25 July," he said. Before warning: "anyone who believes that such a situation will not get worse is mistaken, given the inability of the putschist to manage the affairs of state."

Former president sentenced to four years in prison

For several months, the former President of the Tunisian Republic (13 December 2011 to 31 December 2014) has been strongly denouncing this break in democracy. The first democratically elected head of state after the dictatorship of Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali, of which he was one of the main opponents, he had himself been highly criticized at the time after having concluded an alliance with the Islamist party Ennahdha to promote his candidacy for the presidential election. Running for a second term in 2014, Moncef Marzouki lost in the second round to Béji Caïd Essebsi. Running again in 2019, he was eliminated in the first round by coming eleventh with only 3% of the votes cast before calling for a vote for... Kaïs Saïed, elected with 72.71% of the votes.

A human rights activist, Moncef Marzouki (76) lives in France, in Paris. A Tunisian judge issued, in early November 2021, an international warrant against him following previous vehement statements against Kaïs Saïed. He was then sentenced, on 22 December 2021, to four years in prison in absentia by his country's judiciary for "undermining state security abroad" and causing "diplomatic damage". At issue were his calls for demonstrations against the current President of the Tunisian Republic, his requests to foreign governments to freeze relations with Tunisia, and his campaign to have the International Francophone Summit, scheduled to take place in Djerba on 20 and 21 November 2021, moved (it was finally postponed by one year).

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