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Tuesday 28 September 2021
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Tunisia: political crisis finally defused?

Events that put to test the Government of Caied Essebsi are not rare, as critical events are fast approaching. The most controversial is undoubtedly that of July 24 which marks, at least theoretically, the endgame for this government lineup whose resignation was strongly demanded by some political parties which found resonance among many protesters converted into thugs in these circumstances.

The television appearance of the Prime Minister on Sunday had in its time neither defused the crisis nor drawn prospects for a close outcome. Especially as, when peppering his remarks with the unsaid and evasions that he alone has the secret, Beji Caied Essebsi has certainly provided his critics another opportunity to attack his policies.

Obviously, the Prime Minister undertook to smooth things out to bring together key stakeholders on the political scene around a minimum platform that would immunize the country against security drifts, first, and to a lesser extent, would allow each other to save the process of transition to July 24 or at least to reach it without major hitches.

The statements made by political and trade union leaders who have succeeded to the Kasbah, since Tuesday, suggest that an embryo of a consensual approach is being formed, as evidenced primarily by the words of the Secretary-General of UGTT, affirming the determination thereof to assist the Government in meeting fully its difficult mission and achieving the aspirations of the people of Tunisia to security and stability, but even more those of the President of Ennahdha, stressing “the convergence of views between the movement and the government on all issues that arise,” and asserting “his rejection of any attempt to undermine the institutions of the State.”

However, should we conclude that we are heading towards a sort of gentleman’s agreement thanks to which it will be less difficult to side-step this difficult phase and especially to reduce a little bit the deluge of violence and attacks against property and persons, which took such a big size that it appears to seriously challenge politicians otherwise they lose all credibility?

And if so, why this commitment has not been made earlier, which would have prevented the political process from getting stuck, wrongly, in demarcation disputes that, in any way, provided the irrefutable evidence of their futility

These setbacks have certainly helped some to mark the beginning of a presence on the political scene, but gave the distinct impression that the government is miles away from resolving to transparency and open communication.

Not to end it there, the entire political establishment is now required to devise a modus operandi relaying this emerging consensus to translate into concrete and decisive results for the rest of the process. This will be a very strong signal that policies will give Tunisian citizens who are inhabited by the unspeakable fear of being attacked, and at the same time, criminal gangs, criminals and their sponsors that, for them, the cause is being heard, even if it is not excluded that they go back there.

It is on this basis that will be important now to design and conduct the bulk of political acts accompanying the transition to July 24 and beyond, which will impact on the order of the economic architecture and social situation, as the summer tourist season is on our doorstep and that school and university exams are approaching and, above all, foreign and domestic investors, are awaiting a relevant signal to resume work and revitalize the economy.


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