Saied urges Tunisians to partake in legislative election next December
Tunisian President Kais Saied issues an order inviting citizens to the December 17 legislative elections.
Tunisian President Kais Saied issued an order, today Thursday, calling on Tunisian voters to partake in the country's legislative elections on December 17, noting that a draft decree has been drawn up and it will be used for the upcoming elections.
Saied said, during a cabinet meeting, that the electoral law is no less important than the constitution, even if it is of a lesser legal status, stressing that no party will be excluded from the upcoming legislative elections as long as it meets the conditions stipulated by the electoral law.
It is noteworthy that the Tunisian National Salvation Front announced, a few days ago, its final decision to boycott the upcoming elections. Head of the Front, Ahmed Najib Al-Shabi, attributed the reasons for this boycott to what he considered is Qais Saied once again drafting the electoral law by himself, as he did in the constitution, and not disclosing its content, only about 10 days before the final date of its issuance.
It is reported that Saied ratified the country's new constitution on August 17 and authorized its entry into force, a day after the Independent High Authority for Elections announced the results of the July 25 referendum.
Tunisian opposition to boycott parliamentary elections
On another note, Tunisia's main opposition alliance said on September 7 that its members including the once-powerful Ennahda party would boycott December elections to replace a parliament dissolved by President Kais Saied.
The vote is set for nearly a year and a half after Saied suspended the Ennahda-dominated assembly and sacked the government.
"The National Salvation Front has definitively decided to boycott the upcoming elections," said Ahmad Nejib Chebbi, head of the front which is made up of parties and movements opposed to Saied.
Chebbi said the move was in response to an electoral law written "by Saied alone," as part of a "coup against constitutional legitimacy."
Tunisia's new constitution comes into effect
In mid-August, the Tunisian Electoral Commission announced the approval of the new constitution and its entry into force, adding that this was after President Kais Saied promulgated it and it was published in the Official Gazette.
Tunisians voted in a referendum on a new constitution that would further expand President Kais Saied’s powers.
The Tunisian Electoral Commission announced on July 26 that the final results of the referendum showed that 94.6% of votes (2,607,884) were in favor, while 5.40% of votes (148,723) were against.
Officials indicated that the total number of voters amounted to 2,830,094, while the number of canceled votes reached 56,479, and blank votes amounted to 17,008.
The President would be able to serve two five-year terms but could extend them if an imminent threat to the state is perceived, granting the head of state the authority to dissolve parliament. No clause allows for the impeachment of the President
The new draft replaces the country's 2014 constitution, expanding the head of state's authority and providing him with a broad range of powers that is not limited to defense and foreign affairs as is currently the case.
The President of the Republic carries out executive functions with help from the government, whose chief would be appointed by the President and not subject to confidence votes in parliament.
Meanwhile, Tunisia is facing an impending economic crisis and is seeking an IMF bailout package — factors that have troubled ordinary people far more than the political crises over the past year.