WorldTunisia: National and international organizations criticize Kaïs Saïed's seizure of power

Tunisia: National and international organizations criticize Kaïs Saïed’s seizure of power


AA / Tunis

Tunisian and international non-governmental organizations denounced on Saturday “the decisions taken unilaterally by Tunisian President Kaïs Saïed and his seizure of power in the absence of guarantees”.

This is what emerges from a joint declaration signed by 18 national and international NGOs, consulted by the Anadolu Agency.

Among the independent organizations that signed the declaration are the Organization Against Torture in Tunisia, the Tunisian League for Citizenship, Human Rights Watch, the Tunisian section of Amnesty International, the International Federation for Human Rights, the Organization World Against Torture, Avocats Sans Frontières and the Tunisian Network for Transitional Justice.

In their joint statement, the organizations affirmed their “unwavering commitment to democratic principles”.

“The promulgation of presidential decree n ° 2021-117 of September 22, 2021 by Saïed, abrogates the constitutional system, and constitutes the first step towards authoritarianism” estimate the NGOs, which expressed in this sense “their fear for the rights of man because of an unlimited stranglehold on powers ”.

Tunisia has been in the throes of a serious political crisis since the Head of State decided on July 25 to dismiss Head of Government Hichem Mechichi, freeze the powers of Parliament for a period of 30 days, and lift immunity deputies in the context of exceptional measures. Kaïs Saïed had also announced that he was assuming the executive power with the help of a government of which he will designate the head and proceeded in the following days to a series of dismissals of ministers and senior officials in the apparatus of the state.

The Tunisian President had decided, Wednesday evening, to abolish the provisional body for the control of the constitutionality of bills, to legislate by presidential decrees and to exercise executive power with the help of a government, while observers and political parties believe that the new presidential provisions constitute “a coup against the Constitution”.

The NGOs have stated that “international human rights law allows, under strict conditions, the attribution of exceptional prerogatives, but these exceptions are limited in time and strictly subject to the principles of legality, necessity and proportionality, and furthermore require rigorous judicial review ”.

“International law stipulates the obligation to deal with emergencies within the framework of the rule of law (…) any change in political and constitutional systems must be made within the framework of the Constitution, which sets out the conditions of its amendment, while respecting democratic requirements ”, they recalled.

Saïed had repeatedly tried to reassure Tunisian public opinion and foreign chancelleries, saying that he did not intend to establish an autocratic regime in Tunisia or to undermine rights and freedoms, but aims to remedy the situation through reforms, after having invoked the existence of an imminent peril which threatens the Tunisian state.

* Translated from Arabic by Majdi Ismail

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