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Tunisia Opposition Presses President Saied For A Voice

FILE: Demonstrators gather during a protest against Tunisian President Kais Saied, in Tunis, Tunisia, April 10, 2022.

Tunisia's political parties have pledged to fight President Kais Saied's decision to exclude them from key political reforms including the drafting of a new constitution, accusing him of seeking to consolidate autocratic rule.

Tunisia's president, Kais Saied has named a law professor to head an advisory committee of legal and political science experts to draft the new constitution for a "new republic."

The advisory committee excludes political parties from the process. And that has Saied's opposition on their feet, calling the move clear evidence that the president intends to hold the North African nation's power in his own fist.

And the excluded promise to fill the streets with loud protest.

Ennada party official Riadh Chaibi told Reuters "We will face the new step of his autocratic rule with protests in streets and by uniting the opposition front to overthrow the coup,"

Saied, who took executive power last summer and dissolved parliament to rule by decree, has since said he will replace the democratic 2014 constitution with a new constitution via a July 25 referendum and hold new parliamentary elections in December.

The National Salvation Front, an umbrella for several parties and activists including Ennahda, Heart of Tunisia, Karama and the Citizens Against the Coup coalition, decried the move as another dangerous step towards entrenching one-man rule.

Saied denies his opponents' accusations that he staged a coup to seize power, saying his intervention was legal and necessary to save Tunisia from years of political paralysis and economic stagnation at the hands of a corrupt, self-serving elite who had taken control of government.