On Thursday, Tunisia’s Ennahda stated it will boycott a planned referendum this month on a new version of the country’s constitution.
The July 25 referendum on the new constitution as “illegitimate,” Ennahda spokesperson Emad al-Houmairi said.
Al-Houmairi told a press conference in the capital Tunis, “Ennahda calls for boycotting the constitutional referendum and considers it illegitimate, illegal and issued by a coup authority.”
The draft constitution “will undermine the pillars of the civil state and law and paves the way for an autocracy,” he said.
Tunisians were urged by Tunisian President Kais Saied to vote “yes” on the draft constitution during the July 25 referendum.
The government will answer to the president, not to the parliament, under the new constitution.
The 142-article draft says that Tunisia is a republic with a presidential system, while the document also gives power to the president to dissolve the parliament who could serve for two terms of five years.
Since Saied ousted the government, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority in July 2021, Tunisia has been in the throes of a deep political crisis that aggravated the country’s economic conditions. After lawmakers held a session to revoke his measures, he dissolved the assembly.
In the dissolved assembly, Ennahda was the largest bloc.
Critics have accused him of orchestrating a coup, while Saied insists that his measures were meant to “save” the country.