A presidential decree to amend the basic law of the country’s election commission was rejected by Tunisia’s Ennahda, according to a statement.
Ennahda said in a statement that President Kais Saied, “who put the country on the path of economic and financial collapse, continues to trample on the constitution, of which Chapter 70 prohibits any change to electoral articles by decree.”
Based on a two-thirds majority vote, the Independent High Authority for Elections, formed in 2011, comprises nine independent members elected by the Parliament.
Saied, however, issued a decree to appoint a new seven-member panel, including three judges and an information technology specialist on Friday.
Saied, through the new decree, now also holds the power to appoint the head of the election commission as well as to relieve any of the commission’s members based on reports raised to him.
Saied’s move was slammed by Ennahda as a “disdain for the Tunisian people and their revolution and the further dismantling of the state, the seizure of all authorities and the sabotage of democratic gains.”
Tunisia’s national forces were also called on to “confront Saied’s tyrannical project and take the necessary steps to save the country and return (it to) the democratic constitutional path.”
Since July 25, 2021, when Saied dismissed the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority, in a move decried by opponents as a “coup,” Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis.
The country is also going through a severe economic crisis aggravated by the COVID-19 pandemic amid the ongoing Russian war on Ukraine.
Shortly after lawmakers convened a plenary session to overturn his measures, Saied dissolved the suspended parliament last month.