Tunisia: Ennahda announces the “kidnapping” of its vice president, Saied confirms his continuation of his “reforms”
The Ennahda movement in Tunisia said today, Friday, that the security forces had arrested a member of parliament, Noureddine El-Behairy, who is also the deputy head of the movement.
The movement added that security forces in civilian clothes “kidnapped” Al-Buhairi and “taken him to an unknown destination.”
Al-Nahda movement said – in a statement – that “during the kidnapping process”, the security forces violently assaulted lawyer Saeeda Al-Akrimi, Al-Buhairi’s wife, who was with him.
The movement expressed its “strong condemnation of this dangerous precedent, which predicts the country’s entry into the tunnel of tyranny, and the liquidation of political opponents outside the framework of the law, by the coup regime after its failure to manage the affairs of government.”
Lawyer Al-Buhairi, 63, served as Minister of Justice between 2011 and 2013, then became a minister accredited to the Prime Minister between 2013 and 2014.
Al-Buhairi is the first senior official in the Ennahda movement to be detained by security since President Kais Saied dissolved parliament and took control of the powers of government in late July, in a move described by Ennahda and other parties as a “coup.”
Since last July 25, Tunisia has been witnessing a political crisis, against the background of exceptional measures, most notably the freezing of parliament’s competencies, the lifting of immunity from its deputies, the abolition of the constitutionality monitoring body, the issuance of legislation by presidential decrees, the dismissal of the prime minister, and the appointment of a new head of government.
The majority of political and civil 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 overthrew the rule of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali (1987-2011).
The leader of the Ennahda movement, Fathi Al-Ayadi, described what Al-Buhairi was subjected to as “a kidnapping, not an arrest,” and added – in contact with Al Jazeera – that the Tunisian president “wants to enter the country in a new tunnel.”
On the other hand, the “Citizens Against the Coup Initiative” called for popular mobilization against the decisions of President Qais Saeed, and said that it would announce the formation of an expanded political front, to overthrow what it described as the coup.
The initiative also called for a boycott of the popular consultation on the constitution called for by the president, “because it lacks transparency,” as it put it. She said that the “hunger strike” carried out by a number of its members, succeeded in achieving its political goals.
Yesterday, Thursday, a number of lawyers staged a sit-down in front of the military court in the capital, Tunis, to protest against the trial of civilians before the military court.
The participants in the vigil demanded the release of the two MPs in the Karama coalition, Seif El-Din Makhlouf and Nidal Al-Saudi, who were detained by order of the military judiciary in connection with the so-called airport case.
Don’t go back on the constants
In new statements, President Kais Saied said – yesterday, Thursday, during his inauguration of the Council of Ministers – that “there is no retreat from the constants”, and that he “will continue to work to refute slander and lies and confront attempts to strike the Tunisian state.”
Saeed called on the Ministries of Interior and Justice to “track down those who are behind any assassination attempts, whether they were previous or being prepared.”
He stressed the need to reform the entire judicial system, stressing that “an independent judiciary is better than a thousand constitutions.”
Saeed considered that the development of the law related to the Supreme Judicial Council was the result of the intervention of a number of non-competent parties and pressure forces.