Tunisia: President in Hot Water for ‘Facilitating’ Hajj for Relatives
President Beji Caid Essebsi of Tunisia has been accused of sneaking members of his family and relatives in the official Tunisian delegation to perform this year’s Hajj in Saudi Arabia.
The tirade published by Acharaa Al Magharibi media points out that relatives of the President will freely travel to Saudi Arabia for the pilgrimage, which starts this week, as part of the official delegation.
Among those relatives, the media cites former Prime Minister Mohamed Essid and his wife as well as the wife of the President’s controversial son, Hafedh Caid Essebsi.
The information has sparked public outcry on social media at the time the weak Tunisian government goes at war against corruption and nepotism.
Grafts and favouritism were grounds of the 2011 revolution, which removed former President Ben Ali now in exile in Saudi Arabia.
The President’s office has lambasted the article published by Acharaa Al Magharibi saying that the media has on purpose mingled names of the official delegations and those of people making the trip at their own expense.
“This mixture, premeditated, aims at staining an Institution of the Republic in trying to include on the list of the official delegation names of the President’s relatives,” Saida Garrach, spokeswoman of the President’s office said in a post on facebook.
She pointed out that the media will be sued for the article.