European official: “Concerns” about Tunisia’s democratic gains

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The High Representative of the European Union and Vice-President of the Commission Josep Borrell expressed “concerns about preserving the democratic gains in Tunisia, which are the only ones guaranteeing the stability and prosperity of the country.”

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This came according to a statement issued by the European Commission on Friday after a meeting between the European official and Tunisian President Kais Saied at the presidential palace in Carthage.

The statement quoted Borrell as saying that he conveyed to President Said “European concerns about preserving the democratic gains in Tunisia, which are the only ones that guarantee the stability and prosperity of the country.”

He said, “There is no doubt that the free exercise of legislative power and the resumption of parliamentary activity falls within the framework of these gains and should be respected.”

Borrell added, “We also touched on the economic challenges that are increasing in severity, and the Corona pandemic has only made them more complicated.”

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He stressed that “the country must move towards restoring the stability of institutions while preserving these democratic pillars.

Listening to the desire and aspirations of the Tunisian people in the framework of an open and transparent dialogue that would enable Tunisia to set out again on the path to consolidating democracy.

Borrell stressed, “The European Union’s keenness to consolidate democracy in Tunisia and respect the rule of law and fundamental rights and freedoms.”

He pointed out that “on the basis of concrete measures and measures that will be taken in the coming weeks, we will finally determine the best ways to support and accompany democracy, stability, and prosperity for Tunisia.”

“I am here (in Tunisia) to express the commitment of the European Union and its member countries to a very important partner for us, which is Tunisia,” he said.

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On Thursday, Borrell began a two-day official visit to Tunisia, according to a statement issued by the European Union mission in Tunisia.

On July 25, President Said issued decisions freezing the powers of Parliament.

Lifting the immunity of the deputies, and dismissing the Prime Minister, Hisham Al-Mashishi, provided that he himself assumes the executive authority with the assistance of a government whose prime minister is appointed.

The majority of Tunisia’s parties rejected Said’s decisions, which were extended on August 24 last indefinitely.

Some considered it a “coup against the constitution”, while other parties supported it, seeing it as a “correction of the path” in light of the political, economic, and health crises (the Corona pandemic).