BÉJI CAID SIBSI: DEMOCRATIC PROGRESS IS THREATENED AND THE ARMY WILL PROTECT THE SOURCES OF NATURAL RESOURCE PRODUCTION




Adel Tayari – TDO – (TUNISIA)Tunisian President Béji Caid Sibsi on Wednesday (May 10th) gave a speech that the Tunisian people had long awaited after the economic indicators fell sharply and the protests increased from the north to the south of the country.In his speech, Qayed al-Sibsi set out to reveal the danger threatening the democratic process in Tunisia, which the people are tired of so much to establish and maintain. The President of the Republic said that democratic progress has become threatened by the statements of some of the sensitivities and intended to strengthen political strife.Referring to the opposition parties, especially the leftist parties that refuse to share the Islamist party of the Ennahdha in the government and in the political scene in general and demands its removal and even the return of its leaders and those belonging to it to prisons, as was the case under former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.The opposition parties focused their attacks on the government and on the institution of the presidency using the economic reconciliation law called by Baji Kaid al-Sibsi and agreed to by the head of the Nahdha Party Rashed Ghannouchi and considered that the law saves the spoilers and all those who looted the people's money from punishment.  Al-Baji explained that within his constitutional powers he initiated a reconciliation initiative and presented it to the People's Assembly for discussion however, some political sensitivities did not like the democratic work and called for irritating the street and announced its entry into civil disobedience in the form of the approval of the People's Assembly on this initiative. And the president called on the opposition to prepare for the upcoming elections instead of demanding a change of government. Commenting on the escalating protests, the president said in his speech that the state guarantees the right to protest in the streetsbut not every protest is necessarily legitimate,adding that anyone who wants to protest him should abide by the law and the state will guarantee him this right and protection as well but when the protest is linked to stopping production in phosphates, oil, gas, agriculture and tourism, the state is required to protect the people's resources.

Al-Baji said that he consulted with the National Security Council in a meeting attended by several ministers and advisers. It was decided, therefore, that the Tunisian army would protect the few resources of the Tunisian people in the future, according to Baji Kayed Sibsi. The head of state did not deny the seriousness of this decision but considered it necessary because the basic condition of democracy is the rule of law and the just state with all its children, he said. In the same context, the President of the Republic confirmed that he is working with Minister of Interior Hadi Majdoub to restructure the Ministry of the Interior in order to improve security performance.

At the end of his speech, he appealed to the Tunisian people to protect his country and its institutions and not to allow the destruction of the country's wealth by excessive protests because Tunisia needs all its children to work seriously, considering that the economic indicators have improved on the basis of improved production in phosphates and in agriculture, as well as the gradual return of tourism.