US calls on Tunisia’s president to restore democracy

The US has urged Tunisia’s President to appoint a Prime-Minister designate in order to form a government and restore democracy amid fears the recent measures taken by the President last month could undermine democracy.

President Saied had last month dismissed the prime minister and suspended the parliament calling the measures constitutional.

The US did not describe the power grab by Kais Said as a coup but voiced concerns over democracy in the country where the Arab Spring started.

The US adviser, Jonathan Finer, delivered a message to President Kais Saied from US President Joe Biden, “reaffirming his personal support, and that of the Biden-Harris Administration, for the Tunisian people and urging a swift return to the path of Tunisia’s parliamentary democracy”, the White House said in a statement.

He “discussed with President Saied the urgent need to appoint a prime minister designate who would form a capable government able to address the immediate economic and health crises facing Tunisia”.

 

Finer traveled to Tunis with US Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs Joey Hood, the statement said.

 

The President’s move came amid an acute economic crisis coupled with a health crisis due to a surge in coronavirus critical cases.

Under the constitution, the president has direct responsibility only for foreign affairs and the military, but after a government debacle with walk-in vaccination centres recently, he told the army to take charge of the pandemic response.

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