Tunisia remains in a state of waiting. It’s been two months since the president’s coup Kais Saied whereby, with article 80 of the Tunisian Constitution, he suspended the parliament, at first for only 30 days, and dismissed the prime minister Hichem Mechichi ending parliamentary immunity. After the first grace period has passed, Saied doesn’t seem to want to give up his exceptional powers. The pretext: to reform the country to lead it to a presidential system that leaves behind the political and economic blockade.
Saied yesterday formalized his institutional coup of July 25 by promulgating provisions, published in the official Tunisian gazette, that reinforce his powers to the detriment of the Government and Parliament, which de facto will substitute legislating him for decree. The Tunisian president, in power since 2019, has decided to abolish the provisional body for controlling the constitutionality of bills, promulgate laws in the form of presidential decrees and exercise executive power with the help of a government.
«Legislative texts are taken in the form of a decree-law. they are promulgated by the President of the Republic who orders their publication in the Official Gazette of Tunisia, ”reads the full text of Presidential Decree No. 2021-117 of September 22, 2021, regarding exceptional measures. Legislative texts are taken in the form of a decree-law. They are promulgated by the President of the Republic who orders their publication in the Tunisian Official Gazette ”, reads the full text of Presidential Decree No. 2021-117 of September 22, 2021, regarding exceptional measures.
The presidential prerogatives contained in the text grant Kaïs Saïed the right to appoint and remove ministers, appoint diplomats abroad and make appointments in the higher public administration. In the current system governed by the Constitution of 2014 that Kais Saied wants to change, most of the executive power is in the hands of the government and the measures announced on Wednesday clearly tip the balance on the side of the presidency.
Saied had already advanced his decision in a speech broadcast on national television from Sidi Bouzid, an enclave that symbolizes the revolts that overthrew the Ben Ali regime in 2011. “Exceptional measures will continue and a head of government will be appointed, but on the basis of of transitional provisions that respond to the will of the people, “said Saied.
In this way, Saied decrees to keep the Tunisian Parliament frozen, a measure that Saied’s critics considered unjustified when the leader relied on article 80 of the Constitution. In Tunisia, the project to establish a Constitutional Court to ensure compliance with the Magna Carta remains stalled.
Without fully clarifying his roadmap, the hypothesis of his critics seems to be clarified: Saied would be taking advantage of the lack of consensus for an effective Constitutional Court to supervise decisions like his, to seek a regime change towards a presidential republic to the French to the detriment of the parliamentary system envisaged by the 2014 Constitution.