SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 3 December 2021, Friday |

Tunisian president says he’s drafting timetable for political reforms

Tunisian President Kais Saied said on Thursday that he has been working nonstop on a reform timetable to defuse growing domestic and international criticism since dismissing the cabinet, suspending parliament, and seizing personal power four months ago.

However, Saied did not say when he expected to present the action plan, despite mounting pressure for a roadmap to end the state of emergency and return to parliamentary democracy.

“We are working day and night to establish a timeline for reforming the political system in a way that responds to Tunisians’ demands,” Saied said during a meeting with his appointed government.

Saied seized nearly all powers in July, a decade after the Arab Spring’s first and only successful pro-democracy uprising, in what critics called a coup, before installing a new prime minister and declaring he would rule by decree.

Thousands of Tunisians demonstrated near parliament in the capital last week, demanding that he reinstate the assembly, while major foreign donors whose financial assistance is required to unlock an International Monetary Fund bailout package for the economy have urged him to return to normal constitutional order.

Saied has defended his takeover as the only way to end years of governmental paralysis and economic stagnation, and he has promised to uphold the rights and freedoms won in the 2011 revolution.