Middle East

Opposition calls for Tunisia to withdraw from military exercise with Israel

The Republican Party called on Tunisian authorities to withdraw from the “African Lion” military manoeuvres led by the United States and hosted by Tunisia, Morocco, Ghana and Senegal. Israel is expected to take part in the exercise.

The Republican Party condemned, in a statement issued on Tuesday, “the engagement of the July 25 regime in the path of normalisation in more than one field. The party held the president of the republic fully responsible for adopting a policy that deeply violates the national principles of the Tunisian people and their state.”

The party considered said this engagement “will have the worst impact on our relations with our regional neighbours, and it is considered a stab in the back of the Palestinian people who are valiantly facing the Zionist war machine.”

The Republican Party called for the “immediate withdrawal of Tunisia from these manoeuvres,” demanding “authorities present a detailed statement to the Tunisian people about the grounds of their participation in these manoeuvres.”

Since 25 July 2021 President Kais Saied has held nearly total power after he sacked the prime minister, suspended parliament and assumed executive authority citing a national emergency.

He appointed a prime minister on 29 September of the same year and a government has since been formed. In December, Saied announced that a referendum will be held on 25 July to consider ‘constitutional reforms’ and elections would follow in December 2022.

The majority of the country’s political parties slammed the move as a “coup against the constitution” and the achievements of the 2011 revolution. Critics say Saied’s decisions have strengthened the powers of the presidency at the expense of parliament and the government, and that he aims to transform the country’s government into a presidential system.

On more than one occasion, Saied, who began a five-year presidential term in 2019, said that his exceptional decisions are not a coup, but rather measures within the framework of the constitution to protect the state from “imminent danger”.

READ: Why do Arab ‘normalisers’ never seek their people’s approval of ties with Israel?

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