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G7 ambassadors call for a return to the rule of law in Tunisia




President Kaïs Saïed fears a coup d'état (photo: DR)
President Kaïs Saïed fears a coup d'état (photo: DR)
TUNISIA. In a joint communiqué, published on Monday 6 September 2021 in the evening in French and Arabic, the G7 ambassadors in Tunisia* take a clear position on the political situation in this country. Since 25 July 2021, Kaïs Saïed has arrogated to himself all executive functions, on the basis of Article 80 of the Constitution. The President of the Republic, elected in October 2019 with nearly 73% of the vote, then decreed a freeze on the activities of the Assembly of People's Representatives (ARP - the Tunisian Parliament) for thirty days, lifted the parliamentary immunity of deputies, banned sixty-five parliamentarians from leaving the territory and dismissed Hichem Mechichi, his Prime Minister appointed less than a year ago.

On the night of 23 to 24 August 2021, Kaïs Saïed extended this state of exception "until further notice". The President spoke again a few hours ago at a ceremony commemorating the creation of the National Guard (created in 1956 to replace the French Gendarmerie Nationale), of his fears of an attempted coup: "They want to infiltrate the vital services of the state to get their hands on the workings of the state for the benefit of some and others, we will oppose them", he said.

"Parliament must play a meaningful role"

In their statement, the diplomats reaffirm "their continued commitment to partnership with Tunisia as it develops the political and socio-economic structures necessary to meet the legitimate aspirations of its people for better living conditions and honest, effective and transparent governance". But they soon become more prescriptive. "We strongly recommend the rapid return to a constitutional framework in which an elected Parliament plays a meaningful role". The text also states "the urgent need to appoint a new Head of Government capable of addressing the economic and health crises facing the country, and to create an inclusive space for dialogue on the proposed constitutional and electoral reforms.

The G7 Ambassadors in Tunisia also call for "a continued commitment to - and respect for - the political, social and economic rights of all Tunisians, as well as the rule of law. The sooner President Kaïs Saïed sets a clear direction for the future that meets the needs of the Tunisian people, the sooner Tunisia can focus on addressing the economic, health and social challenges facing the country.

The message ends with an unambiguous statement: "The Group of Seven remains committed to ensuring that shared democratic values remain central to our future relationship.

* Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, United Kingdom, United States.
G7 ambassadors call for a return to the rule of law in Tunisia

Eric Apim


Tuesday, September 7th 2021



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