Freedom House: Tunisia’s political rights & civil liberties declining under Pdt Kais Saied
The political rights and civil liberties in Tunisia are deteriorating due to the unilateral actions taken by President Kaïs Saïed, who had dismissed the prime minister, suspended the parliament in 2021 and continued to consolidate power by formally dissolving the parliament in March, said Freedom House.
In its latest report “Freedom in the World 2023: Marking 50 Years in the Struggle for Democracy”, the US-based NGO said Tunisia experienced the third-largest score decline of any country as a direct result of the actions of President Saïed who rolled out a new constitution that gave more authority to the presidency and dismantled legislative and judicial checks on the executive branch, securing approval for the document through a flawed referendum.
December parliamentary elections, which were boycotted by most opposition parties, drew a voter turnout of just 11 percent and prompted calls from the opposition for Saïed to resign, said the US-based international human rights watchdog.
After assuming office through elections, the Tunisian president rejected the established political system and sought to rewrite the rules of the game to maintain his grip on power, added the Rights Watchdog, noting that the country witnessed the biggest one-year decline with its score dropping to 56 from 64.
Freedom House blamed the Tunisian President for democratic erosion in his country heading towards uncertainties, slipping into unprecedented political crisis and economic turbulences.