Member of the Tunisian Electoral Commission: President Said is concerned with electoral irregularities and can be followed up later
A member of the Independent High Authority for Elections, Farouk Bouaskar, said that the President of the Republic, Kais Saied, is concerned with electoral violations, like the rest of the candidates for the previous presidential and legislative elections.
Bouaskar said, in a statement to local radio “Shams”, that the Court of Accounts report spoke of violations related to illegal electoral campaigning through social media and funded propaganda pages.
He pointed out that the President of the Republic is concerned with these electoral violations, but he cannot be followed up now, given the immunity he enjoys, and added that the follow-up will be possible when his presidential term is completed, as he put it.
In a related context, the Tunis Court of First Instance confirmed the referral of 19 people to the court’s misdemeanour department, for having committed what it described as electoral crimes related to violating the ban on political advertising during the electoral silence period.
The court stated that its decision was based on a report issued by the Court of Accounts, which is an official body for financial control.
The list of defendants includes a number of politicians who ran in the last legislative and presidential elections in 2019; Among them are Nabil Al-Qarawi, Youssef Al-Shahed, Rashid Ghannouchi, Hammadi Al-Jabali, Hamma Al-Hammami, Moncef Al-Marzouki, and Elias Fakhfakh.
At the same time, the court confirmed that it was impossible to refer others, for reasons related to their capacity and the completion of the research, without naming them or mentioning their capacity.
The Workers’ Party in Tunisia denounced what it considered the name of its Secretary-General, Hamma Hammami, among the list of political figures to be referred to the misdemeanours department of the Tunis Court for electoral crimes.
In a statement issued by it, the party denied that its general secretary had benefited from any illegal propaganda or illegal advertising during the 2019 presidential election campaign.
The party also expressed its surprise at not including the name of President Qais Saeed at the top of the list of beneficiaries of illegal propaganda on social media, even though this was mentioned in the Court of Accounts report.
The Labor Party considered that raising the issue in this circumstance aims to undermine political action, parties and elections in the service of Said’s plan.
In another context, the defense team of Ennahda Vice President Noureddine El Beheiry said that his wife had started a hunger strike in the hospital in Bizerte (northern Tunisia), where her husband is under house arrest by the authorities.
In a statement to Al-Jazeera, a member of the commission explained that the wife of Noureddine Al-Buhairi (Saeeda Al-Akrami) started her hunger strike after the security that surrounded the hospital prevented food from reaching her, she said.
Al-Akrimi’s hunger strike also comes one day after she announced the start of a sit-in in the aforementioned hospital until the release of her husband, whose arrest and placement under house arrest and the charges against him are still controversial in the country.
On the other hand, Tunisian President Kais Saied said that all medical precautions were provided to everyone who wanted to go on hunger strike, referring to Al-Buhairi.
He added, in a meeting with the Prime Minister and the Ministers of Justice, Defense and Interior, that it was proposed to transfer Al-Buhairi, without naming him, to the military hospital, stressing that everyone is subject to the law, no matter what, as he put it.
Medical sources reported that Al-Buhairi’s deputy, who was arrested on Friday and hospitalized two days later, after his health deteriorated due to his hunger strike, agreed on Wednesday to receive fluids, before returning to change his mind and refuse treatment.
Lotfi Ezz El-Din, an official in the National Authority for the Prevention of Torture, said after 3 doctors from this independent body examined the arrested patient yesterday afternoon, Wednesday, that “his life is not in danger, but his condition is dependent on his taking medications.”
He added that Al-Buhairi initially agreed to receive fluids through a serum and take medications, but then refused to do so, stressing that the doctors had “serious fears” about the deterioration of his health.
Al-Buhairi, who was admitted last Sunday to Bizerte Hospital (North), suffers from blood pressure, diabetes and heart diseases.
Ezz El-Din explained that the doctors who visited him in the hospital were able to convince him to take fluids and medicines after they brought his family members, noting that “they contacted them because they did not want to be held responsible if his condition deteriorated seriously.”