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Tunisian ex-foreign minister calls on president to return to constitution or quit

A former Tunisian foreign minister on Tuesday called on the country’s sitting president to either step down or return to the constitutional order after he ousted the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority earlier this year.

“The president has no political and popular cover to support him. Due to that, he asked for national dialogue to get out of the crisis,” said Rafik Abdessalem, a former foreign minister and leader in the Ennahdha party, in a seminar held in Istanbul, Turkey on recent developments in Tunisia.

He also said that after the measures taken by President Kais Saied living conditions “became more complicated, the state’s revenues retracted, unemployment increased, prices rose … so the country is in crisis currently.”

Describing the recent measures by Saied as a “coup,” Abdessalem said the number of the president’s opponents in Tunisia was rising demanding a roadmap for parliament to resume work, as well as for the country to return to its constitution and conduct elections.

Tunisia has been in the grip of a deep political crisis since President Kais Saied ousted the government, suspended parliament, and assumed executive authority on July 25.

The country is viewed as the only nation that succeeded in carrying out a democratic transition after the popular Arab Spring uprisings in 2011.

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