By Yousra Ounes
TUNIS, Tunisia - (AA) The Tunisian parliament’s presidency voiced “absolute rejection” Thursday of an “unconstitutional” presidential decree to extend its suspension for one more year.
In a statement on Facebook, Parliament Speaker Rachid Ghannouchi stressed that the only way Tunisia can stop the deepening of the crisis is through the “immediate cancelation of the exceptional measures and entering into a comprehensive national dialogue to collectively determine the future of the country.”
All this comes after Tunisian President Kais Saied announced Monday the continuation of freezing powers of the parliament until early parliamentary elections are held Dec. 17, 2022, in addition to “presenting constitutional reform projects” on July 25 next year which coincides with the date of the declaration of the republic.
Saied ousted the government on July 25, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority. While he insists that his "exceptional measures" are meant to "save" the country, critics have accused him of orchestrating a coup.
The parliament's presidency also expressed its "rejection of selective trials of deputies and its condemnation of the policy of extortion, blackmail and restrictions.”
It reiterated its stance that any amendment to the Constitution should be done "through constitutional procedures," stressing the upholding of the 2014 Constitution.
During a meeting with three constitutional law professors, Saied last week said Tunisia’s crisis lies in the 2014 Constitution and it was no longer valid and has no legitimacy.
Prominent political and social forces in Tunisia announced their rejection of Saied’s latest announcements as monopolization of opinion and a “consolidation of one-man rule.”
But some have supported them saying they reflect the aspirations of the Tunisian people.
Saied, who began a five-year term in 2019, rejects accusations that he suspended the work of the Constitution, arguing that he took exceptional measures within the framework of the Constitution to protect the state from an "imminent danger."
*Writing by Ibrahim Mukhtar in Ankara