Tunisia's Totalitarian Bender

Tunisia says president to announce more steps that will reassure its partners

TUNIS, TUNISIA - OCTOBER 13: Tunisian presidential candidate Kais Saied talks to media after the first exit poll in presidential runoff vote suggest he is set to become president of Tunisia with around 76% of the votes on October 13, 2019 Tunis, Tunisia. Kaïs Saïed, 61, is a conservative academic and jurist, specialized in constitutional law. He has been president of the Tunisian Association of Constitutional Law since 1995. He is an independent candidate and was pitted against business tycoon Nabil Karoui, 56, in the second round of the presidential elections. (Photo by Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
By Reuters
20 Oct 2021 0

TUNIS, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Tunisia's foreign minister told the United States on Wednesday that President Kais Saied would take more steps to reassure its international partners after he seized near total control of the country in July.

During a meeting with State Department official Yael Lempert, Foreign Minister Othman Jerandi stressed the importance of the United States continuing to support the North African country.

The United States has been important to Tunisia since its 2011 revolution in providing security assistance and working with other major donors to support public finances.

Under rules Saied announced last month when he swept aside much of the constitution in moves critics called a coup, the new Cabinet will ultimately answer to him rather than Prime Minister Najla Bouden.

Saied is under international pressure to announce a clear road map for a return to constitutional politics. He announced a new government this month but gave no indication he was ready to relinquish control.

His intervention followed years of economic stagnation and political paralysis but has cast into doubt the democratic gains made by Tunisians during the revolution that triggered the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011. (Reporting by Tarek Amara; Editing by Peter Cooney)


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