WorldTunisia: Online petition rejecting "coup against the constitution"

Tunisia: Online petition rejecting “coup against the constitution”

AA / Tunisia / Alaa Hammoudi

More than a hundred Tunisian public figures signed an online petition on Sunday stressing the rejection of any attempt to “challenge the constitution.”

According to the correspondent of the Anadolu Agency, from Saturday evening until Sunday 2:30 p.m. (GMT), 103 personalities signed the petition posted on Facebook, including deputies, university professors, human rights activists and political activists. The call for signing the petition is still open.

Among the most notable signatories of the petition are Yamina Zoghlami (deputy of the Ennahdha party), Yadh Loumi (independent deputy), Oussama Khelifi (deputy of the Qalb Tounes party), political activist Abdelhamid Jelassi, and professor of constitutional law “Jaouhar Ben M ‘barek “.

The petition comes days after Walid Hajjam, adviser to President Kaïs Saïed, declared that the latter intended to suspend the Constitution, as a step towards a new constitution providing for the change of the government system to a presidential system, in the place of the mixed system (combining parliamentary and presidential) currently in force.

Hajjam said in a televised Thursday that “Saïed’s intention is to change the political system towards a presidential system which will be subject to a popular referendum, which means moving towards the suspension of the constitution and adoption of other mechanisms (which he has not clarified) to manage the state. “

The signatories of the petition affirmed “their attachment to the constitution of 2014, which was the culmination of the process of the Tunisian revolution and the embodiment of the aspirations of Tunisians for freedom, dignity, democracy. , citizenship and the rule of law. “

They further rejected “any attempt to circumvent it (the constitution), deviate from it and subvert its content.”

The signatories considered that Hajjam’s words were “a confirmation of the coup against the constitution that the president initiated on July 25, with exceptional measures.”

On July 25, Saïed decided to freeze the work of Parliament, to lift the immunity of deputies and to dismiss the Prime Minister, Hichem Mechichi. Saïed thereby decided to take the reins of executive power alone, with the help of a government whose president he will choose.

The Tunisian president then issued decrees to remove officials and appoint others. On August 24, the exceptional measures were extended sine die.

The petitioners hailed the “strong reaction from many parties to this dangerous statement by the presidential adviser.”

“We expect positions expressing the same firmness from all parties that have not yet spoken, as well as social and professional organizations and civil society organizations,” they said.

And to warn against “the decline of freedoms in the country, between the travel bans which have affected many personalities, the trials of civilians before military courts, arrests and searches in the homes of individuals, and attacks to private property outside any judicial and legal process. “

They felt it was “a dangerous indication that shows the drift towards a new dictatorship and a coup against the constitution and legitimacy.”

The majority of Tunisian parties have rejected Saïed’s decisions, some seeing them as a “coup against the constitution”. Other parties supported them, considering them as a “course correction”, in light of the political, economic and health crises (coronavirus pandemic) that the country is going through.

* Translated from Arabic by Mourad Belhaj

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