Follow

Keep Up to Date with the Most Important News

By pressing the Subscribe button, you confirm that you have read and are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
Subscribe

Protesters in Tunisia demand clarity for presidential election date

The protest comes at a time of economic and political turmoil in Tunisia, with reports of escalating arrests of journalists, lawyers, activists, and government dissenters.
Protesters in Tunisia demand clarity for presidential election date Protesters in Tunisia demand clarity for presidential election date
Imed Khemiri, a senior official in the Ennahda party and member of the Salvation Front (L) takes part in a protest, demanding the release of imprisoned journalists, activists, opposition figures and setting a date for fair presidential elections in Tunis, Tunisia May 12, 2024.

As tensions rise in Tunisia amid an ongoing economic and political crisis, hundreds of protesters have taken to the streets of the capital to demand clarity on the date for upcoming presidential elections.

In a show of defiance against the current political climate in Tunisia, hundreds of protesters took to the streets of the capital on Sunday to demand the release of imprisoned journalists, activists, and opposition figures.

Protesters in Tunisia demand clarity for presidential election date
Demonstrators hold flags and signs during a protest demanding the release of imprisoned journalists, activists, opposition figures and setting a date for fair presidential elections in Tunis, Tunisia May 12, 2024. REUTERS/Jihed Abidellaoui

The main point of contention was the lack of clarity surrounding the upcoming presidential election date.

The protest comes at a time of economic and political turmoil in Tunisia, with reports of escalating arrests of journalists, lawyers, activists, and government dissenters.

Advertisement

The recent raid on the Deanship of Lawyers, which led to the arrest of prominent lawyer Sonia Dahmani, has only further fueled the flames of discontent among the population.

The Election Commission had previously assured the public that the presidential elections would be held as scheduled. However, with the end of President Kais Saied’s first term looming, the Commission has yet to announce a specific date for the elections.

Saied’s rise to power in 2019 through free and fair elections was initially seen as a victory for democracy in Tunisia.

However, his recent actions, which included the dissolution of the elected parliament and assumption of sweeping powers through decrees, have sparked accusations of authoritarianism and a power grab.

Protesters in Tunisia demand clarity for presidential election date
Demonstrators hold flags and signs during a protest demanding the release of imprisoned journalists, activists, opposition figures and setting a date for fair presidential elections in Tunis, Tunisia May 12, 2024. REUTERS/Jihed Abidellaoui

Critics have also pointed to Saied’s control over the judiciary as a troubling sign of a slide towards autocracy.

The opposition has labeled his actions as a coup, with many expressing concerns over the erosion of democratic institutions and the concentration of power in the hands of one individual.

Saied, for his part, has defended his actions as necessary to restore stability and combat corruption in Tunisia.

He has accused the opposition of prioritizing personal ambitions for the presidency over the well-being of the country, citing their boycott of parliamentary elections as evidence of their self-serving agenda.

The opposition is strongly advocating for a fair and unbiased political climate in order to hold elections in the current situation where press and political freedoms are being suppressed.

They argue that the authorities are targeting politicians, lawyers, and journalists, making it impossible to have fair elections.

Protesters in Tunisia demand clarity for presidential election date
Imed Khemiri, a senior official in the Ennahda party and member of the Salvation Front (L) takes part in a protest, demanding the release of imprisoned journalists, activists, opposition figures and setting a date for fair presidential elections in Tunis, Tunisia May 12, 2024.

The recent incident of storming the lawyers’ headquarters has raised concerns about the authoritarian regime perpetuating in the country.

With prominent figures like Abir Moussa being imprisoned and Mondher Zanaidi announcing his candidacy from abroad to avoid arrest, the opposition fears that political opponents are being targeted unfairly.

President Saied’s comments accusing potential candidates of being traitors and seeking protection abroad have only added to the tension in the political landscape.

The opposition’s call for a clean political climate and an end to restrictions on press and political freedoms is crucial for ensuring a transparent and democratic electoral process in Tunisia.

Go to Who Owns Africa for more news from the African continent.

Follow Who Owns Africa on Twitter @Who Owns Africa, on Facebook at Who Owns Africa or on Instagram at whoownsafrica


Discover more from Who Owns Africa

Subscribe to get the latest posts to your email.

Add a comment

Leave a Reply

Keep Up to Date with the Most Important News

By pressing the Subscribe button, you confirm that you have read and are agreeing to our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use
Advertisement

Discover more from Who Owns Africa

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading