In Tunisia, the rise of impatience in the face of the “state of exception” of Kaïs Saïed

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It is a provisional that drags on to the point of adding to an already thick political fog in Tunisia. Seven weeks after the coup by the Head of State, Kaïs Saïed, who arrogated to himself, on July 25, full powers by invoking a “Imminent danger” weighing on the nation, concern is growing in the face of the president’s difficulty in clarifying his scenario for exiting the crisis.

While waiting for an address to the nation constantly announced for “The next few days”, the country is still deprived of a Prime Minister and a Parliament, while the vagueness persists on the overhaul of the political system that the president calls for. On August 24, he had extended ” until further notice “ the state of emergency proclaimed a month earlier. But to go in which direction? Faced with so much uncertainty, impatience is manifesting itself more and more openly, both inside and outside the country where the star of Tunisia is fading.

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When the head of state, 63, a teacher in constitutional law, elected in 2019 in an anti-system vote, had activated, on July 25, article 80 of the Constitution on the “state of emergency », Scenes of popular jubilation, in the streets of Tunis, had greeted his gesture of authority. The Tunisian population was at the end of its patience in the face of the paralysis of institutions, due to the trench wars between the presidential palace, the head of government and a fragmented Parliament, while the socio-economic situation was deteriorating, against a backdrop of runaway the Covid-19 epidemic.

“Lack of dialogue and communication”

Ennahda, a formation resulting from the Islamist matrix, the first party in the Assembly and, as such, the backbone of the government coalition, had crystallized most of this popular resentment. Also the dismissal of Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi – a bureaucrat sucked into the orbit of Ennahda by the mechanical effect of a predominantly parliamentary Constitution – and the “freezing” of the activities of the Assembly had imposed the positive image of ‘a strong man attacking the demons of corruption and the collapse of the state head-on.

However, more than fifty days later, the rating of the Head of State begins to show signs of weakness, despite his persistent popularity. Perplexity rises, as Kaïs Saïed struggles to appoint a new prime minister and disclose the institutional scenario which, according to his relatives, is doomed to end a post-2011 decade marked by dysfunctional parliamentarism. His sarcastic reflection, inviting those who claim a ” roadmap “ to go and consult the “Geography books”, added to skepticism.

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