US congressional committee says Tunisian democracy ‘in danger’ – Middle East Monitor
Democracy in Tunisia is in danger following a series of decrees taken by President Kais Saied, the Congressional Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Middle East, North Africa and the fight against global terrorism.
This happened during a virtual hearing titled “Tunisia: Review of the State of Democracy and Next Steps in US Policy” held with the participation of a number of committee members and experts. policies.
“We are deeply concerned by the steps taken by President Saied, despite the positive steps taken in recent weeks,” the committee chairman, Congressman Ted Deutch said during the session, noting that a number parliamentarians are still in detention for political reasons.
He underlined Washington’s will to “support Tunisia’s democratic transition and the process of constitutional reform”.
On Tuesday, State Department spokesman Ned Price congratulated Tunisia on forming a new government, hoping for an inclusive path to be put in place for a swift return to constitutional order.
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Later that evening, President Saied met with US Ambassador to Tunisia Donald Bloom and voiced Tunis ‘”displeasure” with Congress’ decision to discuss the situation in Tunisia.
On July 25, Tunisian President Kais Saied invoked article 80 of the constitution to dismiss Prime Minister Hicham Mechichi, freeze the work of parliament for 30 days, lift the immunity of ministers and appoint himself to the head of the executive branch. until a new government is formed.
It comes after violent protests erupted in several Tunisian cities criticizing the government’s handling of the economy and the coronavirus. The demonstrators had called for the dissolution of parliament.
The majority of the country’s political parties have called the move a “coup against the constitution” and the achievements of the 2011 revolution.
Saied appointed a prime minister on September 29, a new government has since been formed.