The Speaker of the Tunisian Parliament and the leader of the Ennahda party, which has an Islamic reference, Rached Ghannouchi, called for a “peaceful struggle”, after President Kais Saied consolidated his powers.
The Tunisian president took surprising measures on July 25, when he dismissed the prime minister, suspended parliament, and assumed executive power, citing a “national emergency.”
On Wednesday, the Tunisian presidency announced “extraordinary measures” that enhance the president’s legislative and executive powers.
Politicians accuse Saied of carrying out a “coup”, but many Tunisians who were frustrated with the performance of political parties support his steps.
Saeed denies having dictatorial aspirations, insisting that his steps are constitutional.
In an interview with AFP news agency on Thursday, Ghannouchi considered the president’s decisions “a complete coup against democracy, against the revolution and against the will of the people.”
Ghannouchi added, “This is a step back, a return to the 1959 constitution and a return to absolute autonomy,” adding, “There is no room today except for struggle. We are a civil movement and our struggle is peaceful.”
“We called on our people to engage in every peaceful action that resists dictatorship and returns Tunisia to the path of democracy.”
Ghannouchi said that Saied did not respond to his party’s calls for dialogue, adding, “The president did not respond because it turned out that he had a plan he had prepared and wanted to impose.”
Ghannouchi acknowledged his party’s responsibility in the political crisis in Tunisia before Said’s announcement, saying, “We certainly bear (the responsibility), Ennahda was not in power, but we supported the government despite our objections to it before July 25.”
Ghannouchi expressed his movement’s readiness to introduce reforms to the 2014 constitution, but indicated that parliament is needed to do so.
On the other hand, Ghannouchi said, “The positive aspect of the president’s decisions is that he will unite Ennahda with other parties and Ennahda within it…God bless the president who united the Tunisian people and unified Ennahda.”
Ghannouchi added, “The president’s performance today is not good, and the evidence for this is that all the parties that were opposing Ennahda are now opposing the president.”
The leader of the Ennahda movement stressed that his party would “definitely participate” in the elections if a decision was taken to hold them.
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