Tunisian President Kais Saied is working to conduct a constitutional change of the country’s supreme law following his seizure of the governing power and suspension of the parliament since July 25, his adviser Walid Hajjem has told Reuters.
“This system cannot continue … changing the system means changing the constitution through a referendum, perhaps … the referendum requires logistical preparation,” Hajjem said Thursday.
The adviser added that the plan is in the final phase and is set to be unveiled soon.
Saied took his July move arguing that it was meant to restore the country following power deadlock that emerged between him, outgoing Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi and the parliament, where the Ennahda Islamist party was holding the majority.
The Tunisian President, himself a constitutionalist, has sought a constitutional change and the adoption of a presidential system of government that would reduce the role of the parliament.
Critics have slammed Saied for seeking to roll back the country’s democratic achievement that followed the 2011 uprising that ousted autocratic leader Ben Ali.
Hajjem’s revelation comes amid international and domestic pressure on Saied to provide a way out of his exceptional measures that foreign powers believe risk to torn apart the democratic path on which the country has been.
This week the G7 urged the President to appoint a government and return Tunisia to a constitutional order in which an elected parliament played a significant role.