Tunisia.. the continuation of a hunger strike in protest against the “coup” and the president heralds the launch of a consultation on constitutional reforms


Members of the “Citizens Against the Coup” initiative confirmed their continuation of the hunger strike, despite the deterioration of the health of a number of them, while President Kais Saied announced the launch of a popular consultation on constitutional reforms at the beginning of next month.

Activists in Citizens Against the Coup and politicians began their hunger strike about a week ago to protest what they described as Saeed’s coup d’etat.

Recently, the movement reported the deterioration of the health of two of the participants in the strike, one of whom is the official spokesman for the hunger strikers, Ezzedine Al-Hazqi.

A member of the initiative, Shaima Issa, revealed the organization of a million march next January 14 to oppose the “coup”, the day the victory of the Tunisian revolution was announced after the escape of the late President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

When announcing the start of the hunger strike, the initiative mentioned – in a statement – a set of demands, most notably the release of imprisoned parliamentarians, stopping military trials, stopping what it described as employing the judiciary and the security establishment in the political struggle and silencing the opposition, in addition to ensuring freedom of the media.

At the time, a member of Citizens Against the Coup, Ezz El-Din El-Hazki, called on the democratic forces to join the initiative, and to overcome all political differences between them, to achieve the goals of the revolution.

Former Tunisian President Moncef Marzouki joined the initiative in protest against “individual rule, suppression of dissenting voices, and prevention of demonstrations.”

Marzouki said in a video clip – broadcast by the “Citizens Against the Coup” initiative account on Facebook – that this strike reminds him of “the strikes we used to carry out during the dictatorship.”

Marzouki stressed “the necessity of ending the coup as soon as possible so that the economy machine in Tunisia returns to work and so that Tunisians do not go hungry,” calling on citizens to take to the streets in rejection of the president’s decisions.

National dialogue

The head of the Ennahda movement and the suspended Tunisian parliament speaker, Rached Ghannouchi, called in a tweet for a comprehensive national dialogue that rises above all exclusion and outlines the features of Tunisia’s future.

Ghannouchi described President Kais Saied’s actions as a restoration of failed experiments, and said that the country is moving towards a return to tyranny and exclusion.

Last July, Saeed suspended the work of Parliament and took over the executive authorities, in a move his opponents described as a coup against the democratic transition in the country.

“If we put the slogans aside, the impact is that we are moving forward towards the dangers of tyranny and the mentality of exclusion still exists,” Ghannouchi said.

On his visit to the Citizens Against the Coup initiative, he added, “We tried exclusion, so why does President Qais want to repeat failed experiments?”

Popular Consultation

For his part, Qais Saeed announced during a ministerial meeting on the popular consultation on constitutional reforms that this consultation will be launched on the first of next January.

Saeed confirmed that this consultation will be on social networks and will continue until next March 20, provided that the resulting proposals will be formulated within legal texts that will be put to a referendum by the people next July, before the legislative elections are held on December 17 Next.

In the same context, US Ambassador to Tunisia Donald Bloom expressed, during his meeting with Tunisian Prime Minister Najla Bouden, his support for the existing partnership between the two countries and his support for the aspirations of their people for an effective, democratic and transparent government to take care of their affairs.

The ambassador stressed the importance of Tunisia implementing an inclusive political consultation process, and expressed his support for the adoption of economic reforms that would advance economic growth in the country.

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