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Tunisia's crisis persists despite President seizing control

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Copyright : Africanews Photo tirée du reportage Africanews / Anelise Borges


If it wasn’t for the military stationed in front of Tunisia’s parliament… and near the now vacant Prime Minister’s office, one wouldn’t be able to tell this is a country going through another critical patch in its political history. 

Since President Kais Saied granted himself full powers on July 25, his opponents cried foul, denouncing the move as a coup.

In Tunis' cafes and alleys though, many believe he was placing a bet on Tunisia’s future, that he means well. 

“Things are better. Kais Saied is very good, he’s rounding up all the thieves,” says Abdelhamid Riahi, a market vendor referring to the members of Tunisia’s political elite - who have been blamed for years of inaction and mismanagement.

President has defended his move as necessary to save the country from its current predicaments and to fight corruption.

“They kidnapped the revolution,” Abden Naceur, a lawyer says. 

Ten years ago, Naceur became one of the symbols of Tunisia’s Jasmine revolution, which sparked a popular movement that changed the face of much of the Arab World. 

The night Tunisia’s former president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled the country, Naceur was the first to defy the military-imposed curfew and erupt into celebration.

While Saied's seizure of executive power has been backed by ordinary Tunisians, political analyst Tahar Abdessalem says the President's solution to curing the political malaise plaguing the country misses a point. 

"He (President Kais Saied) says he doesn’t have dictatorial aspirations. And he insists he will respect the freedoms and rights and work to ensure the people’s well-being. But this must translate into public policy and that’s where we have a problem because public policy depends on institutions notably to address the financial, public health, economic and social urgencies. They demand a strong government which we don’t have yet," said Abdessalem.

Anelise Borges reports from in Tunis