higher body of grassroots governance

The announcement of the extraordinary measures of 25 July 2021 by the President of the Republic of Kaïs Saidrepresented a turning point in Tunisian political history. HAVE From that date, the head of state did not miss an opportunity to show that he was the ultimate sovereign of the country. Everything is allowed! Government, Parliament, Supreme Council of the Judiciary and independent bodies! Quay Said took control of all state institutions for a few months. Those who refused to submit to his will were dismissed or dismissed.

That’s how he managed to create her own independent high authority for elections (isia). Don’t want Nabil anymore BaffounQuay Said appointed the new members of the authority’s council on 9 May 2022. He had justified his decision with what would be complicity since the creation ofisiaformer members ofisia in electoral fraud and forgery operations. But the “new” members ofisia appointed by the President had all served on the body previously.

We will later discover that these appointments were intended to guarantee the submission of the body and the establishment of an electoral process in accordance with the personal project of the President of the Republic on the governance of the bases. Quay Said formed one of the most loyal battles to carry out its electoral war. His little squadron made sure to do everything to ensure the success of the referendum on 25 July 2022. This event can be compared more to a comedy sketch than to a vote. We had one of the most bizarre referendum campaigns in history.

A revision of the Electoral Act thus required any person or entity wishing to participate in the referendum campaign to submit an application toisia. This request had to be submitted even before the publication of the draft of the new constitution. That is, the Tunisians were called upon to decide whether or not he would campaign on a document that had not yet seen the light of day. They had to submit an application toisia and wait for his approval. ONE isia who, moreover, had not failed to demonstrate his devotion to the head of state. The authority banned the right to speak publicly and in the media about this referendum and validated the amendment of the project submitted to the referendum in the middle of the referendum campaign.

After this rather bitter first chapter, theisia once again put on a show as the first results of the referendum were announced. A real scandal broke out after a press conference on July 26, 2022. As soon as the first figures were published, Tunisians reported discrepancies. There were large discrepancies between the regional figures and the overall official result. L’isiaafter announcing late in the evening of July 25 that the total number of participants in the referendum was equal to 2.458 million, decided to increase it to 2.830 million. The participation rate went from 27.5% on 30.5%. There were discrepancies between the figures reported by the regional authorities and the figures presented byisia.

To catch up, the body issued a statement indicating that errors had crept into the results and that the published documents had not been updated. The chairman forisiaFarouk boasker has in response dismissed the authority’s managing director, Love Bousetta claimed he was responsible for the error. However, several documents released show that the results had been validated by the authority’s president before being published. Farouk’s signature boasker can be seen on all the documents that the authority originally published.

Subsequently Kais Said continued to implement its grassroots governance project under the watchful eye ofisia. In this sense, it has issued a decree on the revision of the electoral law. This decree excluded dual nationals from the list of candidates for constituencies on Tunisian territory in the early legislative elections on 17 December 2022. To do this, the head of state has performed a little legal acrobatics. Instead of mentioning the matter directly, he introduced an article that prohibited a Tunisian with a foreign father or a foreign mother from standing as a candidate for one of the 151 constituencies within Tunisian territory. On the other hand, citizens living abroad retain the right to stand for parliamentary elections in the constituency outside the national territory. This did not bother the members ofisia. No reaction was communicated to the press or to the public to this discrimination affecting thousands upon thousands of Tunisians, many of whom live on Tunisian territory. Binational Tunisians are therefore second-class citizens and theyisia Can’t see a problem with that.

The body also supported Kaïs Said in its fight for gender equality and the achievements of the revolution in terms of women’s rights. L’isia did not oppose the adoption of the single-man ballot, which reinforced the exclusion of women from political life. Moreover, the numbers only reflect this sad reality. 24 hours before the end of the application deadline, only 1,317 people have submitted their application toisia This figure includes only 193 female candidates. In return 1,572 lists for more than 15,000 candidates have summer deposited in 2019.

The funniest thing in all of this remains the statements made by the body’s vice president, Maher Jedi or his spokesman, Mohamed Lily Mansry. Both assured that the new electoral law did not exclude women and did not represent a step backwards. Jedi even went so far as to say that he was against the principle of positive discrimination. L’isia has even decided to apply a decree contrary to Kaïs’s constitution Said which evokes the state’s obligation to guarantee equality in elected councils and the presence of women. The members of the Authority did nothing but obey the President’s directives and apply his decree. This reaction was quite predictable from an all-male body. Isie would have turned into a boy band or something men’s club!

Political pluralism has also taken a big hit as the new decree consolidates the thoughts of the President of the Republic and the idea of ​​rejecting political parties and their end. The individual ballot is used in its most rigid sense. After a few days of vacillation and lack of precision about the role of these units, the issue was settled: parties were not allowed to campaign. They have no right to finance one and support a candidate. The emblems and logos of these structures will not appear on the ballot paper of the candidates who are members of them.

This is the inauguration of the theory of the end of political parties, which is often mentioned by the head of state and his followers. L’isiewhich should theoretically ensure the preservation of a healthy, balanced and pluralistic political life, has done everything to impose this approach on the Tunisian political scene, known for its richness and its dynamism. This prompted almost all parties to boycott the election. Again, that oneisia chose to support the president of what is left of the republic and to side with him, thus serving the interests of the base control project to the detriment of representative democracy.

Finally, and to express his devotion to this cause, which is Kaï’s personal political project Saidthe body, in a press release dated October 24, 2022, the official date for the end of the submission of applications, decided to extend the case by three days. The authority announced this news by publishing a small text of two sentences and without explanations. It would later be discovered that this decision had been taken due to the low number of submissions and the absence of candidates for certain constituencies. Asked about the possibility of a vacancy at the end of the parliamentary elections in December due to this absence, the body’s spokespersons and vice-presidents assured thatisia had the option of organizing partial parliamentary elections to fill the void.

However, the Organic Law No. 2014-16 of 26 May 2014, regarding elections and referendums as amended and supplemented by the Legislative Decree of 15 September 2022, did not address this scenario. No article in the text in its original form or after the amendment, after introducing the uninominal voting system and the new electoral division, dealt with the absence of candidates. Article 34 of the same law refers to the question of vacancy as a declaration made by an existing parliament and not by the authority. L’isia will only be notified by the meeting office and has no decision-making authority in this regard. The absence of a candidate for a constituency is not included. The impediment invoked by the Act is attached to the person and not to the absence of an elected official. The question of vacancies was addressed for MPs who would not be able to continue to exercise their elected function. But once again, Isie seems willing to stand up this aspect and seek at all costs a miracle solution to continue implementing the presidential project.

The campaign, which will soon take place in connection with the early legislative elections on 17 December 2022, will mirror the referendum campaign: a fun campaign. Isee will certainly continue to work in such a way that the interests of the president of what is left of the republic, his political project and the interests of his supporters. L’isia choose an ostrich policy in light of the countless excesses that will take place. The incidence was more than clear: the priority is to establish the grassroots management project. HAVE At the end of this masquerade, we will surely face one of the worst gatherings in Tunisia’s old and recent history. Apart from a disastrous composition, this Parliament will have no role, no prerogative and no authority over the executive. It is, remember, a simple function and not a power. What better way to satisfy the dictatorial inclinations of the Supreme Guide!


Sophie Ghoubantini

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