The political fight is tense in Tunisia. The clash between the two main political figures raises fears of new unrest. On Tuesday April 18, the premises of the main opposition party, Ennahda, were closed throughout the country, the day after the arrest of its leader, the historic Islamist leader Rached Ghannouchi. These decisions could not be taken without the approval of the President of the Republic, Kaïs Saïed, to whom the Constitution confers significant powers. The Head of State is thus pursuing his undertaking to eradicate all opposition. Since his election in 2019, he has broken the power of judges, weakened that of Parliament, reduced democratic space. Reigning over a country in ruins, he nevertheless sees himself as the savior of the nation, refusing aid from the International Monetary Fund in the name of an intransigent sovereignism. A solo race that leads the country to the edge of the abyss.
This development is very worrying. It plunges the population into economic, social and political distress and pushes the middle class to emigrate, at all costs. The European Union must commit itself to avoid the collapse that awaits this neighboring country – the Italian island of Lampedusa is only 150 km away – and friend. An emergency humanitarian program should be unlocked using channels other than government channels, if necessary. Mediation may also prove necessary, even if the outcome of the crisis must be found by the Tunisians. As for Kaïs Saïed, he must look reality in the face: after having imposed himself by taking advantage of a powerful rejection of the traditional political class, he no longer enjoys a popular base and his solitary exercise of power has become part of of the problem.