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Gathered on Bourguiba Avenue in Tunis, hundreds of demonstrators gave their support to President Kaïs Saïed, whom his opponents accuse of setting up an authoritarian regime. Several opposition parties announced at the end of April the creation of a “National Salvation Front” with the aim of uniting all political forces to “save” Tunisia from its deep crisis.
Hundreds of people demonstrated on Sunday May 8 in the center of Tunis in support of President Kaïs Saïed and the measures he advocates to redress Tunisia, while the head of state’s opponents denounce an authoritarian drift of power.
The demonstrators, gathered on the emblematic Avenue Bourguiba at the call of a pro-Saïed collective, unfurled banners with the inscription “We are all Kaïs Saïed” and chanted slogans calling for the judgment of the “corrupt” politicians whom the Tunisian president constantly vilifies.
They also booed Rached Ghannouchi, leader of the Islamo-conservative Ennahda party and president of the Parliament dissolved by Kaïs Saïed, of which he is the pet peeve.
Kaïs Saïed, who assumed full powers in July 2021, is the target of growing criticism from his opponents who accuse him of setting up an authoritarian regime sounding the death knell for the fledgling democracy in the country from which he left. in 2011 the first revolt of the Arab Spring.
Strengthening the powers of Kaïs Saïed
Several opposition parties announced at the end of April the creation of a “National Salvation Front” with the aim of uniting all political forces to “save” Tunisia from its deep crisis.
After months of political blockage, Kaïs Saïed, elected at the end of 2019, assumed full powers on July 25 by dismissing the Prime Minister and suspending Parliament before dissolving it last March.
In February, he also dissolved the Superior Council of the Judiciary (CSM) to replace it with a “temporary” judicial oversight body whose members he appointed.
On April 22, he arrogated the right to appoint the head of the Electoral Authority, a few months before a referendum on constitutional reforms in July and a legislative ballot in December.
And at the beginning of May, he announced the establishment of a “national dialogue” expected for months but from which he excluded the political parties.
Besides the political deadlock, Tunisia is struggling with a deep socio-economic crisis and is in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to obtain a new loan.