After 4 months of his exceptional measures, is Qais Said still maintaining his popular and party momentum in Tunisia?

Tunisia- With the exceptional measures approved by President Qais Saeed on July 25th entering their fourth month, the level of concern is rising this time on the lips of political and civil forces supporting him, asking him to clarify his program and get out of the state of exception that the country is experiencing.

Observers believe that Saeed’s indifference to the national parties and forces that supported him in the July 25 track, and his exclusion from the dialogue that would have formed a ground for getting out of the political impasse, and his going towards implementing the “basic construction” project and calling for an electronic referendum, widened the circle of his opponents, even partially.

Since last July 25, Tunisia has been experiencing a severe political crisis, as President Saied began a series of “exceptional” decisions, including freezing the competencies of Parliament, lifting the immunity of its deputies, abolishing the constitutionality monitoring body, issuing legislation with presidential decrees, chairing the Public Prosecution, and dismissing the Prime Minister. Hisham Al-Mashishi.

The majority of political forces in Tunisia reject these measures, and consider them a “coup against the constitution”, while other forces support them and see them as a “correction of the course of the 2011 revolution” that toppled the late President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

conditional support

Leaders of the People’s Movement – which is one of the most prominent parties that strongly support the president’s actions – did not hide their concerns and fear that the exceptional measures would continue without a time limit, calling on the president to clarify his program and to involve political forces and national organizations in the dialogue.

The movement’s leader, Heikal Al-Makki, had told local media that his party would protect July 25 even from Qais Saeed himself, pointing out that their voices would be loud in the face of any deviation from the July 25 track for any other project or base construction in which the president might go.

Fears of Qais Saeed’s deviation from power, were also expressed by the parliament member whose work has been frozen for the People’s Movement Salem Labeid, who devoted a lengthy article to assessing the performance of the president, noting that the exceptional measures have met their duration and there is no longer an imminent or threatening danger threatening the country, except for monopoly in power and governance. .

Labeid called on the president to play the role of the unifying father, not the role of the alienated politician, who whenever he spoke, he added to his account new enemies, and instead of expanding the front of friends, he increased the size of the enemy camp, as he put it.

In this regard, the leader of the People’s Movement, Osama Oweidat, explains – to Al Jazeera Net – that what he described as the July 25 moment was a milestone in the history of Tunisia, and ended 10 years of the “system of corruption”, but his party is afraid that this moment will not achieve the goals for which it was established. .

He added, what is his fault in the path of Qais Saeed after that date is the slowness in taking measures and the ambiguity in his reform project, which introduces doubt and anxiety among those who supported him, especially the youth who are waiting for social justice.

Oueidat expressed his fear that the pre-July 25 regime would take advantage of these shortcomings to reposition itself in the political scene, calling on the president to involve the parties and organizations supporting his measures in the national dialogue.

The leader of the People’s Movement called on the president to live up to the level of trust that marginalized and poor groups had granted him, and to retract his decision not to activate Law No. 38 on the employment of unemployed youth whose unemployment has prolonged, as well as the barn workers category.

A large part of the unemployed youth with higher degrees accuse the president of reneging on his pledges to activate Law No. 38 approved by the Assembly of the Representatives of the People and sealed by the president and ordered to be published in the country’s Official Gazette, to declare two days ago that it is an unenforceable law.

This group of young people – who confirms that they were among the most prominent supporters of the president and the measures of July 25 – are protesting movements against him in more than one Tunisian governorate, reaching the point of storming government headquarters and carrying out sit-ins inside them with the aim of putting pressure on the authorities to implement their previous pledges.

Attitudes change

In turn, the head of the Free Destourian Party, Abeer Moussa, who is considered – according to observers – the biggest beneficiary of the president’s measures, after he ousted her archenemy, the Ennahda Movement, from power, accused him of exploiting the state’s capabilities to market his new political project.

Abeer said in media statements that “after July 25, the president seeks to establish a caliphate state, and that he laughed at the beards of Tunisians.” Her call for an electronic referendum with young people was also considered a crime against the state and an exploitation of people’s money, to achieve personal benefits and political goals.

The Free Constitutionalist announced that he had sent a warning note to the Minister of Communication Technologies, warning him against responding to the president’s request to conduct a dialogue with young people via electronic platforms, and considering this a crime punishable by law through “using the authority to implement a personal political benefit.”

The absence of a clear ruling program for the president and the failure to set a time limit for exiting the state of exception also prompted the Labor Union to break its silence. Its spokesperson, Sami al-Tahri, stated that the workers’ organization “will not accept a scene in which political and social desertification takes place, and the role of parties and organizations is abolished.”

Legitimacy at stake

Speaking to Al-Jazeera Net, the former Secretary-General of the Democratic Current, Mohamed Abbou – who was one of the most prominent supporters of the president’s actions, and advocates for the activation of Chapter 80 of the Constitution – says that the latter turned against the real goal of the July 25 track, and set out to achieve his personal ambitions at the expense of Tunisia’s interest.

Abbou pointed out that the president’s treatment, after 4 months of exceptional measures, in his relationship with the regime that ruled and with symbols of corruption, does not give the impression of a real desire for reform, fighting corruption, and addressing important issues.

And he warned – at the conclusion of his speech – against violating the constitution, adding that if Saeed took this step, he would have lost his legitimacy as President of the Republic, and all means would become available.

Continuous popularity

For his part, political analyst Tariq Al-Kahlawi believes that Qais Saeed, despite his decline in voting intentions and the confidence of the elites in particular, and his mistakes in governance, is still very popular, and is still a major player in the political scene.

He pointed out – in his speech to Al Jazeera Net – that part of the elites, even if they took a position on him and accused him of overthrowing the constitution and his work to serve his political project, were not ready to declare their hostility to him and to align with the Renaissance movement.

He pointed out that political parties supported the president out of greed, and believed that he would involve them in power to turn against him after that, and others supported the July 25 measures to defy a particular ideological opponent.

Al-Kahlawi stressed that what he described as the disastrous outcome of the pre-July 25 system during the past ten years, “made the president very popular, taking advantage of the balance of hatred and the people’s wrath on the parties that were ruling previously.”

It is noteworthy that the latest opinion polls showed a noticeable decline in the confidence of Tunisians in President Kais Saied by 11 points compared to last month, but in return he still has the highest score compared to other political figures, at 66%.

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