Imminent danger to the parties

The referendum side has almost turned, while waiting for the appeals to be finally rejected. The fact is that it is almost certain that the constitution will be adopted, unless, to everyone’s surprise, the Administrative Court invalidates the results. You shouldn’t count too much on it, no.

The post-election low period ends on August 28. From then on, the constitution will enter into force as soon as the final results are announced, but the president will continue to legislate under the provisions of Decree 117 regarding extraordinary measures until the new assembly takes office after the holding of the general election scheduled for the 17 .December.

While waiting for the vote, the President of the Republic intends to adopt a new electoral law by decree. A president who, under the constitution written by him, gives himself extended power, not to say absolute, would he accept political parties hostile to him entering parliament? Would he even take that risk? An Abir Moussi who promises that his party will first work on the annulment of Saïed’s constitution in the next parliament by adopting the draft prepared by the dean Sadok Belaïd, would she not represent a real threat to the presidential project? The quasi-majority of the democratic parties that oppose this project, besides the Islamists, would they not be a thorn in the side of the building?

The president declared during his 2019 campaign declaration that he would cancel legislative elections as we know them and replace them with the bases’ system of governance. Exit the Parliament’s direct vote on the candidate Saïed, who provoked the abolition of the parliamentary elections in favor of a ballot that installs a regional and territorial council. For him, parliamentary democracy has failed and is obsolete. Since then he has watered down his wine by retaining the Assembly of People’s Representatives in his constitution, but by creating his famous Regional and Territorial Council, which would weaken the scope of parliamentary action. The 2019 candidate Saïed also reiterated, to anyone who would listen, that the era of political parties is over and that now is the emergence of people’s rule in new and innovative forms. He said that the parties are doomed to disappear, that a page of history is turning, that they are dying, and that the role they have played will soon end. He argued that partisan pluralism will disappear.

Why this little reminder? because we need to understand the deep convictions of the president, who currently holds all the powers, to better anticipate the next steps. Kaïs Saïed announced the color when he announced the day after the referendum that his first act will be to offer us a new electoral code. His explainers tell us that he would work on it with the help of a group of legal experts, and that the election of members of parliament would be based on a one-person vote and a narrowing of constituencies. But what role and scope do political parties have in the Saïedien system? For the designated explainer of the president, we will name Ahmed Chaftar, the case is folded: ” We are not in a context to abolish political parties, but to change their role “, he said during one of his media outings.

In the absence of a presidential party and therefore a clear and defined majority in Saïed’s service in parliament, the head of state would risk standing with a hostile assembly on his back. It would not suit him at all, and if we combined that with his hostility to the parties, it is a safe bet that he would pull the rug out from under their feet with his electoral law. It is not excluded that the president tries to limit the weight of the parties by imposing rules of the game that are unfavorable to them. Nor can it be ruled out that the political parties boycott the election, as they did during the referendum, thus once again leaving the field open for a Saïed who would not have hoped for a better gift.

Returning from vacation, Tunisians will follow a new season of the political soap opera, in which the president of the republic intends to keep the main role, if not the only role.

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