AP Interview: Tunisia Islamist party counters president

1 month ago 16
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TUNIS – The person of Tunisia’s Islamist enactment and talker of parliament said Tuesday that his enactment is moving to signifier a “national front” to antagonistic President Kais Saied’s determination to suspend the legislature, occurrence apical authorities officials and instrumentality power of the fragile ideology amid the country’s multi-layered crisis.

Ennahdha enactment caput Rachid Ghannouchi told The Associated Press successful a video telephone that the extremity is to unit the president “to request the instrumentality to a antiauthoritarian system.”

Ghannouchi claimed that groups that attacked his party's offices successful respective cities during nationwide demonstrations starring up to the president's actions Sunday nighttime organized online and were the aforesaid that aboriginal celebrated the president's actions successful the streets of Tunis, the capital.

The groups “are person to anarchist groups,” and “attribute themselves” to the president, helium alleged, rejecting the proposition that they whitethorn beryllium citizens expressing discontent with the nation's largest party.


Widespread interest successful Tunisia and overseas has been voiced since the bid of decisions by Saied to halt governmental beingness and astir authorities enactment with the abrupt firing of the premier minister, the defence and justness ministers and the freezing of parliament.

Ghannouchi and others were locked retired of parliament connected Monday.

More than a half-dozen civilian organizations, including the almighty Tunisian General Labor Union, issued a associated connection Tuesday asking Saied for a roadworthy representation of fixes to the country's problems. They besides warned against “any illegitimate and unjustified hold of the suspension of the activities of authorities institutions,” and said a one-month deadline successful the Tunisian Constitution indispensable beryllium respected.

The president invoked a law nonfiction that allows him to presume enforcement powerfulness successful cases of “imminent information threatening the institutions of the federation and the independency of the state and hindering the regular functioning of the nationalist powers.”


Saied was formerly a law instrumentality prof and has stressed that helium wasn't acting extracurricular the constitution.

Ghannouchi reiterated his connection that the moves magnitude to a coup, "and we person called connected the president to reverse these announcements and instrumentality to the law antiauthoritarian bid of the state.”

In a unit tactic, the Ennahdha person said his enactment and different parliamentary blocs are organizing.

“We are moving toward escalating unit connected the president, of people peacefully … to request the instrumentality to a antiauthoritarian strategy and respecting the volition of the Tunisian people,” helium said. Among unit tactics, helium cited plans for protests and sit-ins.

"We are seeking to work, not arsenic abstracted parties, but arsenic a nationalist beforehand gathering the broadest imaginable beforehand successful bid to yet person the president to taxable to the volition of the radical and instrumentality to the antiauthoritarian order,” Ghannouchi said.


He added that parliamentary enactment would proceed contempt the statesmanlike frost via integer methods, a means formally approved earlier due to the fact that of the pandemic.

Saied's decisions to astatine slightest temporarily centralize decision-making and astir authorities functions comes amid a crescendo of crises successful Tunisia, battling coronavirus infections that are ravaging the federation and increasing societal and economical woes.

Tunisia, which ignited the Arab Spring successful 2011 erstwhile protests led to the overthrow of its longtime autocratic leader, is often regarded arsenic the lone occurrence communicative of those uprisings. But ideology didn’t bring prosperity. Tunisia’s system was already flailing earlier the pandemic hit, with 18% unemployment, and young radical demanding jobs and an extremity to constabulary brutality protested successful ample numbers earlier this year.

These crises request to beryllium addressed, “rather than question to make different problems oregon to make ideological conflicts,” Ghannouchi said, adding that everyone indispensable enactment to forestall Tunisia "from being dragged into violence.”


He conceded that Ennahdha, which has been accused of focusing connected its interior concerns alternatively of managing the coronavirus, “needs to reappraisal itself, arsenic bash different parties."

Ennahdha, with its precocious governmental profile, is simply a cleanable people to blasted for Tunisia's economical and different problems, Ghannouchi maintained.

“And they succeeded astatine immoderate of their objectives successful inciting hatred against Ennahda," helium said.

The Islamist person hastened to add, “However, it is done elections the popularity of parties is measured,” and Ennahdha remains the largest.

But each parties “must travel unneurotic … to prevention Tunisia and not this oregon that party,” Ghannouchi said.

The 80-year-old Ghannouchi, a co-founder of Ennahdha, besides said that helium wouldn't question a caller word arsenic its president astatine a enactment legislature aboriginal this year.


Elaine Ganley reported from Paris.

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