OPINION — Tunisia: Putschists against Putschists

While presiding over the National Security Council, late on the night of March 29, the President of the Republic accused Rached Ghannouchi and his cronies of wanting to lead an unconstitutional coup. And this, by convening a general assembly of the House of Representatives. Knowing that the activities of this institution in Tunisia have been frozen by presidential decree.

The Head of State here is only sending the fireball back to its launchers. Because his last rightly accuse Kaïs Saïed of continuing to lead a coup against the Constitution and parliamentary legitimacy. A simple war of rhetoric in Tunisia, which we have been used to for ten years. If the very future of the country were not at stake. And if the speech of the President of the Republic had not been held before the heads of the armies and the security services.

Indeed, this speech can be likened to an order to crack down on the ringleaders of a plot whose leader is nothing less than Rached Ghannouchi. “By rigorously applying the law”, as the President of the Republic asserts. It remains to be seen, which article of law. Because it can go as far as sending them to a military court for “high treason”. As stipulated by law, when it comes to a coup attempt.

But as we are used to hearing threats, sometimes terrifying, from KS, without their being followed up, we tend to consider these untimely statements, often aimed at his opponents, as a simple gesture of verbal anger without more. But not always!

One plot hides another

The opposition to Kaïs Saïed, apart from that led by Abir Mousi, no longer hides its putschistic inclinations from the start. The most caricatural is that expressed by Mohammed Abbou. Since after having called before July 25 Kaïs Saïed to dissolve the parliament and send the military and the security forces against his ex-allies, Ennahdha “and co”; it turned spectacularly against the President of the Republic. After having nevertheless massively supported the latter’s coup against parliament. And without warning, a few weeks later, he turns his jacket against him. Not without launching appeals to the army, to disobey and rebel, therefore against the head of the armies of Tunisia. This is punishable by heavy and irrevocable penalties. The latter, curiously, seems not to have heard these serious insurrectionary remarks. And Mohammed Abbou continues to go about his daily business, as if nothing had happened.

Immediately afterwards, the former President of the Republic, Moncef Marzouki, nicknamed tartar, “puppet”, what he was, in a video where hysteria disputes him with imbecility announces amazing news “to the people”. He declares in effect that the fate of KS is sealed. Seriously, we’re going to replace him with someone we’ve already chosen! By who?

Calls as ubiquitous as each other

Weeks before, he too had made calls for the army to overthrow KS! Ubiquitous as these statements were, they deserved a strong official response. But that was without taking into account the lack of professionalism of those who direct presidential and governmental communication. Knowing that the one who made these threats was himself a President of the Republic and head of the armed forces of Tunisia.

Moreover, concomitantly with these declarations, there were others more underhanded and more Machiavellian. Those of Rached Ghannouhi, for example, who still claims to be at the head of a ghostly national assembly. He even allowed himself to make it virtual. He had promised his subjects (being their Caliph) to revive a dead and buried parliament. Deceiving an idea that its supporters propagate on social networks. Which wants that KS will be “soon” removed from power! By whom and how? Silence and rubber ball!

But the gold medal for untimely statements goes to Amor Shabou, media professional and serious analyst, who also wants to be a politician. Thus, he declares, after a diagnosis of the economic, social and political situation in Tunisia, very relevant moreover, that the army will not assist without moving, faced with the catastrophic situation (it is true) of the country.

What has stung Amor Shabou, not to say what he thinks of KS and he is not wrong, but to make such a political mistake? Has he forgotten that our army has always been legitimist and loyal. Has he forgotten that the parliament was locked down by this same army which only obeyed orders? We tend to believe that a general hysteria is taking hold of this country which does not deserve this mess.

The American friend to the rescue?

It is clear that the visit of the US Under-Secretary of State, pompously announced by the website of the US Embassy, ​​with a specific agenda that touches on Tunisian internal affairs, has added fuel to the fire. In a social and political situation that threatens to flare up.

The enemies of KS saw in this visit a boon to appropriate the fruits of the pressures which would not fail to be made on the President and his government.

Some go further to say that if Rached Ghannouchi dared to do what he did and attempt an insurrectionary act, it was because he had “the American green light”!

This conspiratorial reading ignores the American way of proceeding. And Rached Ghannouchi only seized the opportunity of this visit. A visit to Tunisia scheduled primarily to urge US allies to side with them to deal with the Ukrainian crisis.

Knowing that the American Secretary of State, himself, is visiting Algiers and Rabat for the same reason. RG has therefore chosen this moment to attempt a coup that will allow it to bounce back politically, nothing more. The firm and threatening response from KS will force him to return to his shelter.

Nevertheless, the American pressures on KS continue to be exerted. Except that by meticulously reading the press release from the American State Department about the visit of the American envoy, one realizes that the latter are revising their demands downwards. Including the referendum announced by the President. While insisting on respect for human rights, freedom of the press; and to avoid having civilians tried by military tribunals.

While visiting the ISIE, the Secretary of State also affirmed that the referendum and the elections must be transparent and free. As if we wanted to perpetuate this institution.

The statement also tells us that the first of the ministers assured the envoy of her desire to respect the commitments made. And this, in terms of democracy, human rights and fundamental freedoms. The content of the contacts held in Tunisia with journalists and representatives of civil society remains ambiguous. And the embassy did not announce the names of the organizations and people concerned, so as not to disturb its official interlocutors.

However, one thing is certain, neither Rached Ghannouchi nor any of his allies were invited to these meetings. Otherwise, we would know and they would never have missed the opportunity to shout it from the rooftops.

Will Ennahdha be there?

On the other hand, KS seems to be letting go of American and European demands. When he declares after this visit that the famous consultation is at most only a tool to support the organization of a debate with parties that he still does not name. All this to respond to the idea of ​​an “inclusive” debate announced several times by Western partners.

This visit nevertheless had the result of moving the lines. And whatever one says, KS is not so deaf, when the voices addressed to him come from outside, an outside that weighs and counts.

So, the coming days will tell us more about the real roadmap that is being established. Under pressure of course, but which seems to be clearing up. The big question is: will Ennahdha be invited for this debate?

And already voices are rising on the side of the Kaisist partisans to exclude it, at least the Ennahdha of Rached Ghannouchi. But we think it will be included indirectly. And this, through close personalities, or through its own allies. Because even if it no longer represents much, Western doctrine wants it to be “included”. But not before paying full price!

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OPINION — Tunisia: Putschists against Putschists