The recent exceptional measures approved by Kais Saied, the Tunisian President, to suspend the Tunisian Parliament’s activity for a month, lift the immunity of all its deputies, relieve Hichem Mechichi, the Prime Minister and Acting Minister of Interior and other decisions, have raised widespread controversy in local and international circles. Some supporters of Kais Saied consider the measures he went for as a course correction. On the other hand, others think of Saied’s attempts as coup against democracy and the constitution.
Mena Monitor has conducted an interview with Badreddine Gammoudi, the representative of People’s Movement and the head of the Parliament’s Governance and Anti-Corruption Committee. The main discussion was about what happened on July 25 and many issues related to Ennahda’s blunders and its attempt to break out of the bottleneck in which it placed itself.
Representative Gammoudi spoke to us about corruption files that should be opened, the procedure for lifting the immunity of MPs and other matters. The following dialogue shows his answers…
What do you opine about what happened on July 25 and the exceptional measures approved by Kais Saied?
To begin with, The 25th of July is the day masses of our people came out to put an end to the corrupt system, with all its mafiosi arms and lobbies that are politically protected by Enahada movement and its affiliates. Those groups were the reason that led the country to ruin, bankruptcy, poverty, marginalization, and loss of medical oxygen and basic health care during the epidemic. They put the country in a state of begging on donation establishments doorsteps for aid. With regard to the exceptional measures taken by Kais Saied, they were only in response to the people’s call. In addition, according to Article 72 of the Constitution, it is his capacity to guards the supremacy of the law, guarantee the unity of state institutions and preserve civil peace. Therefore, he activated Chapter 80 of the Constitution to protect the country from collapse and entering a dark tunnel.
How do you answer those who insist on considering what happened as a coup?
Those people should stop deceit, deception and misleading because they are the ones who turned against the will of our people and deviated from their rightful demands for work, dignity and social justice. Furthermore, the coup’s theory supporters took the country hostage to their narrow partisan interests and the interests of the lobbies allied with them far from what benefits the people and far from economic and social benefits for Tunisians.
Do you think that the president’s measures have actually led or will lead to the Ennahda movement isolation?
The procedures do not aim to either settle political scores, harass opponents or set up people’s courts for them, but rather to put an end to the bleeding and collapse in the country and purify it from corruption and spoilers by law and judiciary, with ensuring all conditions for a fair trial and basic rights and freedoms. As for Enahada Movement, it has isolated itself since its project has not ever been patriotic. The movement has always sought to control and utilize the state’s capabilities to achieve gains and spoils for its followers.
What has saved Tunisia from an imminent war that was going to happen, especially after Ghannouchi had invited Ennahda supporters to join the parliament headquarters?
The procedures do not aim to either settle political scores, harass opponents or set up people’s courts for them, but rather to put an end to the bleeding and collapse in the country and purify it from corruption and spoilers by law and judiciary, with ensuring all conditions for a fair trial, basic rights and freedoms. As for Enahada Movement, it has isolated itself since its project has not ever been patriotic. The movement has always sought to control and utilize the state’s capabilities to achieve gains and spoils for its followers.
Do you think that one month, which is the period set by Kais based on the constitution, is enough to carry out the necessary reforms that would give the required outcomes?
Certainly, a month is not enough to take all the necessary and urgent measures to protect the country. Still, the extension will be set according to what the constitution stipulates, until public security and the unity of state institutions are no longer in danger.
In your opinion, what are the files that Saied should open and give them priority while processing?
President Kais Saied has to work on forming a government to correct the path as soon as possible, with a clear roadmap and urgent measures to stop the bleeding of public finances and economic downturn. He should also move in all directions and activate Tunisian diplomacy to search for new partnerships and bring in major investments and projects in order to create wealth and development. Moreover, the president has to meet the people’s demands for work and dignity and work on providing vaccines for all Tunisians to reduce the repercussions of the epidemic crisis on the economic situation.
Do you think that what happened will reflect positive results during this period?
The fact that the masses of our people are coming out in all cities to celebrate the president’s decisions is proof that everyone is demanding a qualitative shift, we believe that thanks to sincere national forces, national organizations and the wisdom of the President, Tunisia will be better in the future.
What cards can Ennahda play to cover up its failure to mobilize?
Ennahda is playing its last cards after its political and moral bankruptcy and calls for dialogue, not to save the country, but to save itself after the people made their decision.
Rashid Ghannouchi flounders from statements to foreign media to warn Italy of the influx of illegal immigrants to a meeting with some mayors of the Ennahda, what does he want to do?
Rashid Ghannouchi committed suicide politically and his calls for sedition and incitement internally and externally brought him back problems within his own movement, which demanded a large number of its leaders and rules leave the presidency of the party and take responsibility for what the situation has reached as a result of his failed policies and deadly mistakes. On the legal side, Ghannouchi’s calls are criminal, threatening social peace, pushing for internal fighting, and requiring, according to criminal procedures, his referral to the Public Prosecution.
The decision to lift the immunity of deputies was favored by a large number of Tunisians, What is the number of deputies who were prosecuted by cases and maintained immunity?
We respect the decision to activate the border measure s17 for all people’s representatives, we call for the activation of all measures against everyone who has committed crimes against people, and a large number of representatives are prosecuted because of judicial rulings or because of files of corruption or crimes that are still under the judiciary watch.
Can you anticipate what will happen in Tunisia in the coming period?
For the coming period, we expect to announce a road map and the prime minister who will lead the phase and start working on enforcing the law against all those who tampered and looted public money. We also expect a decision by President Kais Saied after that to end the exceptional measures and call for deep revisions to the dismantled political system of the state, the crisis-producing constitution and to complete the building of constitutional institutions.
What do you also wait from President Kais Saied: ?
We are waiting for the martyrs and the secret service files to be opened
* Opening files of looted money and confiscated property
*Opening corruption files in public institutions
*Opening corruption files in public banks
* Opening corruption files in public deals
*Expediting consideration of all transferred files in the financial field
* Review appointments to senior positions and jobs based on loyalty, nepotism and bribery
*Opening an investigation and reviewing all assigned licenses
* Governance of Tunisian airports and ports
* Reviewing oil contracts and concessions related to underground resources
* Enforcing the law of: Where did you get this from?