Between repeated political upheavals and the deepening socio-economic crisis, the start of the school year is likely to be hot. On the political stage, we are only halfway through the timetable set by the President of the Republic, Kaïs Saïed, since December 2021 as part of his July project. Socially and economically, we are not yet at the end of our problems.
Let’s start with politics. A few months after the famous electronic consultation, in which the tenant of Carthage was the only or almost successful, part of the Tunisian people marched through the polling stations on July 25, 2022 to say “yes” to the new constitution unilaterally made of care of the President of the Republic. With the Kais Saied vote completed and the constitution promulgated, in a few days we should see a new segment of the process take shape.
The President of the Republic should take a closer look at the electoral law in anticipation of the legislative elections scheduled for December 2022, because – international recommendations oblige – the country must return to its normal functioning with democratic institutions “legally” installed. Kaïs Saïed should put this text within a deadline not exceeding September 16, so that the election can be held on the announced date, although this date is not yet official because it has not been published in Jort.
The publication of the new electoral law is likely to create new waves. Some have already announced a boycott or are planning to boycott these elections for several reasons. On the one hand, there are those who refuse to participate in this meeting because of their inherent opposition to the July 25 process as a whole – considered a “coup” – those who claim that the President of the Republic will weave a tailor. – made code to exclude political parties, structures that it does not believe in, if we stick to its political philosophy and the main lines of its project, which is based on governance from the bases, and on the other hand those who are waiting for text, but fears an exclusion. Until then, the decisions of the President of the Republic have indeed revealed an undeniable rejection of political parties – some more than others. Calls for dialogue were all ignored and no one attended the consultative masquerade that took place in Beit El Hekma, for reasons “known to all”, as Kaïs Saïed likes to say.
However, the political parties are not the only ones expressing their concern about the new law. The Independent High Electoral Authority is also growing impatient, but its concerns are more technical and logistical. If the text is not ready by 16 September 2022, the election meeting risks failure. It must be recalled that the spokesperson for the authority insisted on meeting the deadlines so that Isie can carry out this electoral process and carry out its mission under optimal conditions.
In addition to a new parliament, the president of the republic must also work for the creation of other constitutional bodies. He leads, in addition to the Constitutional Court, which was supposed to see the light of day for years, the Regional and Territorial Council. This should be regulated by a decree and a specific electoral law.
In the wake of the promulgation of the new constitution, we have, it should be remembered, discovered a new complementary legislative body – it seems – to the Assembly of People’s Representatives: the National Regional and Territorial Council, the cornerstone of the grassroots system. governance which the head of state particularly likes and regards as a means of favoring the most direct expression of the will of the people. According to the new constitution, this council should be composed of regional and territorial elected representatives. Each regional council must elect three members to represent their region on the national council. The persons elected to the regional councils elect for each area a single deputy who must represent the area in question in the national council.
For the Constitutional Court, we will wait for a new text to be drawn up in accordance with the provisions of the new constitution and published in order to hope to see the birth of this coveted protection.
We now come to social economy. It is certain that some Tunisians pay attention to the development of the political situation, but others only have their eyes fixed on their bank accounts, the empty shelves in shops and school books. This back to school promises to be hot on all fronts. In an economic environment characterized by galloping inflation and instability that puts investment at risk, Tunisians are hard hit by successive shortages, ever-rising living costs and inadequate wages that are stagnant and sometimes threatened.
Since the beginning of the summer, the country has been affected by a lack of fuel and several other basic necessities. Sugar, coffee, rice and other foodstuffs have disappeared from the shelves. The ministry says reconstruction will gradually resume in the coming days. We wait to see. In addition to the – sometimes fruitless – waiting at gas stations and the basket that emerges almost empty from supermarkets and supermarkets, Tunisians have faced a new problem: the staggering increase in the price of school supplies.
Added to this is the risk of running out of public transport. Between serving parents to go to work and “earn a living” and pupils and students, the transport companies have quickly made up their minds. It will be education, a priority for the president of the republic and the country.
Added to this are the tensions between the government and the UGTT, although negotiations have recently resumed regarding certain wage increases and the implementation of previous collective agreements. Tunisia also remains dependent on the outcome of negotiations with the IMF to obtain budget support of four billion dollars. An agreement whose conclusion was announced by the Finance Act for the first quarter of 2022.
All indicators are red for this start of the school year and for the year 2023. The economic and social situation continues to suffer from governments’ attention to the political situation. The start of the new school year promises to be difficult for everyone involved, and especially for the Tunisian people.