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Tunisian president plans to vary political system, droop structure -adviser

By Tarek Amara and Angus McDowall

TUNIS (Reuters) -Tunisian President Kais Saied plans to droop the structure and will amend the political system by way of a referendum, considered one of his advisers advised Reuters on Thursday within the first clear indication of his plans after strikes his critics have known as a coup.

Greater than six weeks after Saied seized governing powers, dismissed the prime minister and suspended parliament on July 25, he has nonetheless not appointed a brand new authorities or made any broader declaration of his long-term intentions.

“This method can not proceed … altering the system means altering the structure by a referendum, maybe … the referendum requires logistical preparation,” stated Walid Hajjem, an adviser to Saied.

He added that this was the president’s plan, which was on the ultimate stage and was anticipated to be formally unveiled quickly, however he didn’t broaden on what adjustments Saied was considering.

Saied’s intervention has thrust Tunisia right into a constitutional disaster, elevating considerations over the way forward for the democratic system it adopted after the 2011 revolution that led to the Arab Spring.

Saied has been broadly anticipated to maneuver to a presidential system of presidency that would cut back the position of the parliament, one thing that has been continuously mentioned throughout years of gridlock for the reason that 2014 structure was agreed.

He has defended his strikes as vital and stated they had been in step with the structure, promised to respect Tunisians’ rights and stated he is not going to develop into a dictator.

Nonetheless, arrests of parliament members after Saied lifted their immunity and quite a few journey bans in opposition to outstanding folks have alarmed some rights advocates.


Each home and worldwide forces have pushed for Saied to nominate a authorities and present how he means to exit the constitutional disaster brought on by his intervention.

The top of Tunisia’s human rights league was quoted in a Tunisian newspaper on Thursday as saying that Saied had knowledgeable him {that a} new authorities can be appointed this week.

Tunisia faces grave financial issues and a looming menace to public funds, and had simply began talks with the Worldwide Financial Fund for a brand new mortgage programme when Saied ousted the prime minister.

Any additional IMF talks couldn’t happen till a brand new authorities was put in that might credibly focus on fiscal reforms wished by international lenders.

Years of financial stagnation and declining public providers, worsened by political paralysis, have soured many Tunisians on the type of democracy they adopted after the revolution, and Saied’s intervention appeared to have widespread assist.

This week ambassadors from the G7 group of wealthy democracies urged Saied to nominate a authorities and return Tunisia to a constitutional order by which an elected parliament performed a major position.

Tunisia’s highly effective labour union, the UGTT, has additionally urged him to nominate a authorities and begin dialogue to vary the political system. UGTT officers weren’t instantly out there for remark.

Officers from the most important social gathering in parliament, the reasonable Islamist Ennahda, which has been essentially the most vocal opponent of Saied’s strikes, had been additionally not instantly out there for remark.

(Reporting By Tarek Amara, writing by Angus McDowall; Modifying by Chizu Nomiyama and Grant McCool)