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Rejection in Tunisia of Said’s proposal to amend the constitution through an “electronic referendum”

Amman Today

publish date 2021-11-19 19:04:09

The statements of Tunisian President Kais Saied, yesterday, Thursday, regarding the amendment of the constitution and the introduction of a change in the regime, revived the controversy again in the political scene, especially after he went to an “electronic” referendum to pass these amendments.

Yesterday, Thursday, Saied announced that “work is underway to set a timetable for introducing amendments to the political system to respond to the demands of Tunisians.”

Said added, in his speech at the beginning of the cabinet meeting, that “a plan will be drawn up this evening to organize an electronic referendum (on amending the constitution), provided that a committee at a later stage will take over the embodiment of the demands of Tunisians within a real constitution.”

Said’s statements opened the doors of political debate again, amid fears among parties and political actors of imposing a system of government and constitutional amendment individually, through an unknown referendum.

The Secretary-General of the Republican Party, Issam Chebbi, confirmed, in a statement to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that “the President of the Republic insists on proceeding with the approach he has chosen since July 25, an approach that has further deepened the crisis in the country by trying to impose his own vision.” The political system of the Tunisian state is in clear violation of the constitution.”

Chebbi warned against Said’s call for an electronic referendum, saying it is “an electronic consultation to pass a vague, gelatinous political project characterized by a complete departure from representative and political democracy.”

He stressed that “this consultation is to circumvent the demand of the national dialogue to come up with consensus and solutions to this crisis.” He stressed that “the solution cannot be through imposing decisions by presidential decrees,” noting that “the fate of Tunisia cannot be in the hands of one individual, but must be in the hands of all Tunisians.”

“a sarcastic joke”
For his part, the former Tunisian Foreign Minister and a leader in the Ennahda party, Rafik Abdel Salam, said in a statement to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, “Unfortunately, President Kais Saied imagines that Tunisia is like a pliable dough that he makes according to his size, after the abolition of the constitution. And putting all the powers in his hands without accountability or oversight, he now wants to tailor a political system that will enable him to transform the usurpation of power into a state that is legally justified.”

He continued, “Today, Tunisia is being led by decrees from the Carthage Palace, as if it were a private farm for Qais Said without any constitutional or institutional oversight, after he abolished the constitution and installed a government subordinate to it, and then went to elaborate transitional provisions according to his own mood, which he now wants to turn into a permanent constitution.”

Abd al-Salam: The electronic referendum proposal is like a satirical joke that no one can accept, because it is simply a mechanism for communicating with supporters and mobilizing followers.

Abdel Salam stressed, “There is a great distance between what Qais Saeed wants and what he is able to do. All the changes that Qais Saeed will make will be considered illegitimate by most political and popular forces, and will be met with resistance among the elite and in the street. The new constitution will be considered the constitution of Qais Saeed, and only he will concern him.

The leader of “Al-Nahda” added that “Qais Saeed does not talk to anyone but himself and hears only his voice after he rejected the repeated demands from the leadership of the Tunisian Labor Union to hold a national dialogue, despite the union’s positions loyal to him at the beginning of the coup, and yet Qais Saeed does not listen to anyone, even the political forces Those who allied themselves with him are now taking a distance from him, and some of them began to clearly oppose him since his abolition of the constitution on September 22, and then he ignored them.”

He pointed out that “the electronic referendum proposal is like a sarcastic joke that no one can accept, because it is simply a mechanism for communicating with supporters and mobilizing followers.”

“imminent danger”
In turn, the leader of the “Heart of Tunisia” party, Rafik Emara, warned in a comment to “Al-Araby Al-Jadeed” that “going towards amending the constitution and changing the political system without involving all parties, is an imminent danger to the country that must be addressed,” noting that “A structural adjustment to the political system of this depth should not be undertaken by an individual alone to decide the fate of an entire country, and necessitate the future of entire generations.”

Emara continued, “The attempt to legitimize the amendment of the political system unilaterally through an anonymous electronic application, the background and the parties involved in it foretells a trend towards circumventing the will of all Tunisians by moving away from democratic, representative and constitutional means and excluding all living social and political forces.”

And the leader of the “Heart of Tunisia” party stated that “this approach “reveals that President Kais Saied has no real intention to end the exceptional situation and cancel unconstitutional procedures.”

As for the head of the political body of the “Congress for the Republic” party, Samir Ben Omar, he explained, in a statement to Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, that “the preparation and drafting of constitutions is a contract between the state and society and between the rulers and the ruled, and therefore the formulation of this contract must have an approach.” It is participatory, and it cannot be a decision from above.”

He added, “The formula that the resident of Carthage, who lost his legitimacy and legitimacy, will adopt confirms that he is outside the historical context, because he has proven that he is ignorant that millions of Tunisians live in the countryside and do not have electricity or drinking water,” he continued, “while he is talking about a remote electronic referendum as if all Tunisians have them.” They have access to the Internet and the World Wide Web, and they own computers, in addition to the technical difficulties that developed countries have not been able to achieve, let alone an incapable country.”

He believed that “this confirms that Said is deceiving Tunisians, and it is also an attempt by him to circumvent them by imposing an illegal and unconstitutional constitution without returning to the will of the people expressed through the ballot boxes.”

Ben Omar stressed that “this anti-democratic path will be rejected by all the living forces in the country and they will resist it by all peaceful and legal means,” according to him.

(The New Arab)

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