Tunisia one step nearer to autocracy

The referendum is being held precisely one yr to the day Kaïs Saïed closed parliament and dissolved the federal government. His critics have described the transfer as a coup but it surely was hailed at the identical time by Tunisians fed up with the nation’s political elite and financial stagnation.

The new structure would give the president all govt powers, whereas drastically decreasing the affect of Tunisia’s judiciary and parliament. Critics warn that this might pave the best way for a brand new dictatorship in Tunisia. The nation rose up towards the then autocrat Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in 2011 and ignited the Arab Spring democracy protests. Tunisia is the one nation that got here out the opposite facet of those uprisings as a democracy.

Kaïs Saïed, a former regulation professor, promised to scale back corruption within the nation when he ran for election in 2019 and received with over 70 p.c of the vote. Since final July, he has issued a sequence of decrees which have curtailed democracy in Tunisia. Among different issues, he has dismissed the federal government and given himself the ability to fireplace judges as he needs.

Saïed’s supporters imagine the brand new structure may finish years of political impasse. But most political events, together with the influential Islamist social gathering Ennahdha, are boycotting at present’s referendum as a result of they don’t need to legitimize it.

The outcomes are anticipated to be in Saïed’s favor, as there is no such thing as a decrease restrict for a way giant the turnout should be.

— The greatest uncertainty surrounding this election is the participation, and whether or not it can be low or very low, says Youssef Cherif, political analyst.

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