Hundreds protest against Tunisia draft constitution as vote looms | Politics News

Older and youthful generations march in Tunis to reject President Kais Saied’s draft structure, days forward of a referendum.

Tunis, Tunisia – A whole lot of individuals have rallied in Tunis to protest in opposition to a draft structure proposed by President Kais Saied, two days earlier than a deliberate referendum on the constitution.

The Nationwide Salvation Entrance alliance of opposition teams led a march by the Tunisian capital on Saturday to reject the president’s structure change programme and decried what they name an undemocratic and unlawful course of.

Most of the protesters have been from the older technology, who had lived beneath former President Zine Abbedine Ben Ali and took half within the 2011 revolution which compelled him from workplace.

Amongst them was Amna Fehty, an Ennadha supporter who mentioned she was there to “battle for freedom and democracy”.

“We can not progress or have any energy on this world beneath a dictatorship,” she advised Al Jazeera.

“I don’t need to see our kids dwell as slaves beneath a dictator.”

protesters hold tunisian flag
Folks participate in a protest in opposition to President Kais Saied’s draft structure forward of a referendum [Zoubeir Souissi/Retuers]

Stress has been rising within the nation upfront of the vote amid fears that the draft structure would function the premise of a brand new hyper-presidential authorities system.

The referendum is being held one yr after Saied suspended the parliament and sacked the federal government in what his opponents name an influence seize. The president mentioned he was responding to the favored will and saving the nation from imminent hazard.

He quickly started ruling by decree and has dismantled a few of the nation’s democratic state establishments together with the Supreme Judicial Council, whereas pushing for a brand new structure, a draft of which was revealed final month.

The constitution would restrict the powers of the parliament and judiciary and enshrine the powers he has amassed over the previous yr.

A member of the manager committee of the Nationwide Salvation Entrance known as Monday’s referendum “one other hyperlink in a sequence of unlawful occasions.”

“We’re right here to state for historical past that we imagine this new structure is totally illegitimate and can proceed to respect the 2014 structure,” Jaohar ben Mbarek advised Al Jazeera.

There have been additionally some youthful folks among the many crowds at Saturday’s rally. They mentioned that Kais Saied is stealing their likelihood to develop their democracy.

Alabbas Ben Abdennabi, a 22-year-old enterprise research pupil, advised Al Jazeera “Kais Saied did a coup d’etat, he betrayed the Tunisian individuals who voted for him … [Saied] needs to be like a sultan.”

Ammen Ekalini, a 20-year-old activist, got here to the demonstration with fellow college students and mentioned they’re undeterred by the referendum and able to battle for democracy.

“We would like the world to know that we’re the technology of democracy,” he advised Al Jazeera.

“We all know how a lot our dad and mom suffered beneath dictatorship, they have been right here [on Avenue Habib Bourguiba, Tunis] in 2011 in the course of the revolution. We all know this structure will undergo. It says in Article 139 that whether or not sure or no wins, it will likely be activated.”

Duaa Naceur, an 18-year-old highschool pupil, advised Al Jazeera, “Saied needs to steal all our rights, however we gained’t let him.”

“Our message to the world is: assist us rebuild our democracy. We’re succesful, we will do it.”

Saturday’s peaceable rally adopted a protest the earlier night the place police arrested a number of protesters and violently beat activists.

Al Jazeera witnessed violent beatings and use of pepper spray at Friday’s protest.

The Ministry of the Inside mentioned protesters initiated the violence in opposition to police.

The Tunisian labour union UGTT condemned the police violence and demanded the discharge of detainees and a full investigation saying, “We maintain the president accountable for this authoritarian deviation.”