By Aluta News
May 13, 2022
Tunisian President said he would not accept foreign observers for votes he plans this year to change the political system after having already taken control of the previously independent electoral commission.
Kais Saied was speaking at a ceremony to swear in the new members of the electoral commission after he unilaterally replaced the previous commission whose head had questioned the validity of a referendum called outside the rules of the 2014 constitution
Saied has consolidated his one-man rule since seizing executive power last summer and dissolving the parliament to rule by decree in moves his foes call a coup.
He said he will change the democratic 2014 constitution via a referendum in July and will hold new parliamentary elections in December.
“They proposed sending observers, why?
“We are not an occupied country,” he said, referring to foreign democracies that have previously provided observers to guarantee the credibility of Tunisian elections.
He said Tunisia has been widely praised for the fairness of its elections since the 2011 revolution that introduced democracy.
Saied’s consolidation of power has accelerated in recent weeks, as well as taking control of the electoral commission.
The president has replaced the top judicial body and threatened to restrict civil society groups.
He also appointed new members of the election commission, to be headed by Farouk Bouasker, seizing control of one
of the last independent bodies in the North African country and casting doubt on electoral integrity.
According to him, those actions were needed to save Tunisia from years of economic stagnation and political
paralysis at the hands of corrupt, self-serving elite.