Tunisian President Kais Saied has proclaimed the start of a “national debate” to help settle a political crisis sparked by his unprecedented power grab, but important opposition organizations have been excluded.
Saied, a former law professor elected in 2019 amid popular outrage at the political establishment in the North African country, ousted the government on July 25 last year, eventually reverting to rule by decree in what critics called a “coup.”
In a speech late Sunday, Saied stated that a commission will oversee “national discourse,” a move consistently desired by the G7 nations and the European Union.
Saied’s suggested meetings would involve four organizations that, as the “National Dialogue Quartet,” received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2015 for their efforts in establishing what was, at the time, the only democracy to emerge from the 2011 Arab Spring.
The Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade, and Handicrafts (UTICA), the Tunisian Human Rights League, and the Tunisian Order of Lawyers are the four organizations.