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Tunisian opposition to boycott December legislative polls

Ahmed Najib Chebbi, the head of The National Salvation Front, a Tunisian opposition alliance speaking in April 2022.   -  
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FETHI BELAID/AFP or licensors


Tunisia's main opposition alliance said during a press conference it would not participate in the December polls set to replace a parliament dissolved by the president.

On Wednesday, the head of the National Salvation Front alliance said the boycott was a response to Kais Saied’s politics. The leader suspended parliament nearly a year and a half ago and later pushed through a revised Constitution.

"The National Salvation Front has decided to boycott the upcoming legislative elections for several reasons. First, it's an anti-constitutional process, Ahmed Néjib Chebbi, the head of the alliance explained. Mr. Kais Saied has absolutely no right to overthrow the institutional regime that was in place and to move towards the development of a constitution and the establishment of another system."

Members the coalition including the once-powerful Ennahdha party claim the December 17 elections will be 'held under the supervision' of a body which is "devoted" to the president. They also denounce what they see as a one-man rule.

"Today, no one participates with him in the elaboration of this electoral law, the National Salvation Front head said. So, Mr. Kais Saied locks himself in his bubble and does not discuss with anyone, does not recognise anyone. Therefore, we cannot speak of any dialogue between the authority and the opposition, which includes all the political forces and the civil society."

A new Constitution which was disowned by the chair of the committee appointed to write it was approved in July with over 90% of votes. Despite the low turnout, many Tunisians tired of what they saw as a corrupt system established after the 2011 revolution, backed the president.

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