Tunisian President criticizes government partial lockdown decision

Tunisian President criticizes government partial lockdown decision

Tunisian President Kais Saied Thursday distanced himself from the government’s decision to decree a nationwide curfew for two weeks in view of curbing the spread of the coronavirus pandemic.

Hichem Mechichi-led government and the scientific committee overseeing the pandemic decided early this week a set of measures including a two-week night curfew starting from July 1 to curtail the propagation of the covid-19 disease that has caused the death of over 15,000 people.

Visiting the interior ministry held by Mechichi, who is in self-confinement because infected by the disease, Saied lambasted the government decision arguing that the cabinet is not constitutionally eligible to decree a partial lockdown.

The Tunisian President also indicated that the government’s decision was made to favor certain unnamed lobbyists without consulting the ministry of transport because some Tunisians could not find transport means on Wednesday to return home before 8pm local time, the beginning of the curfew.

“At this time, it is necessary to take a courageous national decision and not decisions in favor of those who have plundered the Tunisians,” he said during the visit.

Saied also blamed the unnamed lobbyists for the deterioration of the pandemic in the country.

Saied and Mechichi have been in an undeclared conflict. The Tunisian President has held the Prime Minister responsible for the economic, health and political woes that have gripped the Maghreb country.

Early this week, the WHO sounded the alarm over the situation in Tunisia, saying that the vaccination campaign will not suffice to reduce contaminations. Yves Souteyrand, the representative of the UN agency in Tunisia, called on the North African country to reinforce the observation of the protection protocols.

Tunisia, according to the agency, is among the worst affected countries in the Arab World and in Africa.

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