Tunisia recommends to the world what it does not do!

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs published on 27 September 2022 a series of photos containing passages from the speech given by Minister Othman Jerandi during his participation in 77 meeting of the UN General Assembly on 26 September 2022. The minister had tried to adopt a modernist discourse that called for facilitating the development and progress of countries in multiple sectors and on multiple issues. Throughout his speech, Othman Jerandi emphasized the importance of democracy and the foundations and values ​​that guarantee it. Jerandi felt that the whole world should respect them.

This statement comes a few days after the publication of the electoral decree, which, after a first reading, leads us to conclude that Tunisia, through its foreign minister, is recommending to the world what it does not do.

The decree in question prohibits dual nationals who wish to run for the parliamentary elections to present their candidacy on Tunisian territory. This is a serious attack on one of the foundations of democracy: equal rights. Binational citizens living in Tunisia will be considered second-class citizens due to a nationality, which in most cases is inherited from their parents. They will only have the opportunity to participate in the vote.

Another foundation of democracy, apparently without importance, for Jerandi : the separation of powers. Othman Jerandi trying to confirm that Tunisia is an exemplary democracy, while its president gave himself full power by force, dissolved the parliament or interfered with the judiciary. The head of state, Kais Said had decided to dismiss judges by a simple decree and contrary to administrative procedure and their right to defend themselves before the General Inspectorate. The latter subsequently won their case at the Administrative Court, but they are still denied reinstatement! The executive has thus shown that it has no respect for court decisions it does not like and that it has no intention of applying them.

Othman Jerandi insisted on Tunisia’s adherence to democracy. A democracy which should theoretically guarantee coexistence between political parties. However, the Tunisian reality is very far from the one the minister mentioned during his speech. The powers that be have completely detached themselves from most of these structures and have insisted on making it known. The government, formed for almost a year, has never spoken to the political parties, whether they support it or the opposition. the head of government, Najla Bouden chose to completely ignore their existence. On the side of the presidency of the republic it is everything another story! The head of state, Kais Said has not missed an opportunity to disparage political parties, accuse them and their leaders of corruption or treason, or to affirm that everyone without exception is responsible for the deterioration of the economic and social situation. It is clear that a small minority have managed to attract the good graces of the President of the Republic. Movement Echabhad e.g. the privilege of participating in a sham national dialogue that resulted in a draft new constitution that subsequently ended up in the trash bin because it did not meet the expectations of Said.

Within the framework of a state that preserves its constitutional rights, its freedom, its security and its dignity, in Which one the law and the sovereignty of the people prevail Othman added Jerandi. Again the minister tries to teach the rest of Member countries of the UN based on an illusion. that minister hasHas he forgotten that the constitution has guaranteed equality and equality between men and women in elected councils and that the Electoral Decree has completely swept away this principle by opting for the single vote system? Did he fail to specify that the government facilitated access and guaranteed the holding of demonstrations in support of the latter on Habib Bourguiba Avenue, an iconic site of the 2014 revolution and banned opposition meetings in the same place? Why did he not explain the reasons for issuing the decree n°54 allegedly target to fight crimes related to information and communication systems, but which opens the door to attacks on freedom of expression due to the lack of clarity and the ability to interpret it as we see fit? In addition, the power in place has given itself the right to attack several political figures because of their opposition to Kaïs Said.

Ghazi Chaouachithe party’s general secretary Attayaropposite Kai Saidwas in court to declare that the head of government had tendered his resignation. He is accused of having charged an official with an illegal act. To say that a leader has resigned would be illegal, according to the president of the republic and the minister of justice. MP and businessman, Mehdi Ben Gharbiameanwhile, has been thrown in jail for almost a year and charged with money laundering. The investigating judge searched the case in vain, and in the indictments sent by the prosecution, he found nothing to indict him. Nonetheless decision of releasing him was quickly appealed. Mehdi legs Gharbia is still in prison for no reason! This grave attack on his rights and his dignity does not seem to bother the executive which hastened to intervene in the judiciary to serve its interests. Mehdi Ben Gharbi is not the only example we can cite: former minister Samir Taiebthe former deputy and businessman, Mohamed Frikhathe former president of the bar association, Chawky Doctorthe former communications officer, Mofdi Mseddithe former Secretary General of the Government, Riyadh Muakher or the former minister, Anouar maarouf. All were subjected to house arrest or unjustified police detention, and which were subsequently cancelled and the vow again without explanation from the authorities in place.

Othman Jerandi has mentioned during the same speech the adoption of new solutions and new methods to create prosperity. He believed that Tunisia had adopted a strategy that encouraged scientific research. However, this sector benefits from very limited resources in Tunisia and is often contrary to the current legislation. Since the appointment of the government for Boudennothing has changed about it. The budget for the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research amounts to only 1.9 billion dinars, i.e. 3% of the state budget. When it comes to enacting new economic policies, the government has not been resourceful. Tunisia is suffering from a major shortage and the power that is in place has focused only on the conclusion of an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to obtain a first fund that will facilitate the country to obtain credit from other structures. Held by Bouden presented a reform program identical to that presented by previous governments. It concerns three axes that have been constantly mentioned since 2011: the restructuring of public enterprises, the wage bill and the reform of the compensation system. Through these endless negotiations, the government raises fuel and tobacco prices in an attempt to compensate for the budget deficit. An approach that reminds us of the famous “dark decade” that our dear ministers had to put an end to.

The minister excelled in the distortion of reality during the speech given on the occasion 77 UN General Assembly. He thereby showed that he really deserved to belong to this government and that, contrary to what we were assured, there was a homogeneity and agreement in the team of Bouden. Homogeneity in disinformation! Othman Jerandi has faithfully taken up the strategy of the government and the head of state: with us, everything is going very well and there is nothing to worry about, although all indicators show the opposite! Perhaps he thinks that by repeating the same speech and continuing to mislead the world, this would come true!

Sophie Ghoubantini

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