Celebration and protests mark Tunisia’s new Revolution Day

Celebration and protests mark Tunisia’s new Revolution Day

TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Official observances befell on the birthplace of Tunisia’s 2011 revolution, whereas opponents and supporters of the nation’s president held rival demonstrations within the capital Friday, the new date the chief selected to mark Revolution Day.

A couple of hundred demonstrators gathered in Tunis on Friday morning to protest Tunisian President Kais Saied’s consolidation of energy over the summer season and his subsequent actions which have raised fears of democratic backsliding.

A smaller counter-protest in assist of the president was held close by.

Saied introduced Monday, nearly 5 months after his energy seize, that he would lengthen the suspension of parliament till an election in December subsequent 12 months. He additionally set a date for a nationwide referendum on political reform for July 25, precisely a 12 months since Saied took on sweeping powers.

The president’s opponents slammed his announcement.

Former parliament speaker Rached Ghannouchi, the chief of Tunisia’s largest Islamist celebration, Ennahdha, referred to as Saied’s strikes “unconstitutional and illegal” and mentioned the president had “deepened the political disaster within the nation…and exacerbated Tunisia’s worldwide isolation.”

The secretary-general of the nation’s most important commerce union, the UGTT, mentioned Saied’s announcement didn’t handle the nation’s financial and social issues. The coronavirus pandemic exacerbated Tunisia’s deteriorating economic system, and the nation has an 18% unemployment fee.

Following nationwide antigovernment protests in July, Saied abruptly froze parliament, dismissed his authorities and assumed better govt powers. In September, he partially suspended the nation’s post-revolutionary Constitution and gave himself the facility to rule by decree.

Though Saied’s measures have confirmed widespread, welcomed by a public weary of political elites and financial turmoil, critics say Saied’s actions quantity to a coup.

Among Saied’s latest bulletins was his resolution to maneuver the nation’s official Revolution Day from Jan. 14 – commemorating the date when former autocrat Zine el Abidine Ben Ali fled the nation amid unprecedented mass protests – to Dec. 17.

The new date marks the day in 2010 when fruit vendor Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fireplace in frustration over corruption, joblessness and repression. His determined act set off an rebellion throughout Tunisia that unfold to different international locations in what turned referred to as the Arab Spring.

In the last decade since, an annual celebration has at all times been held on Dec. 17 in Sidi Bouzid, Bouazizi’s hometown and the positioning of the revolution’s first protests.

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