Anti-Saied parties and coalitions, led by Ennahdha Movement, called on Tuesday for a nationwide demonstration on January 14 to express their rejection of the July 25 process.
January 14 marks the departure in 2011 of former president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali. On December 2, President Kaïed Saïed declared that December 17, the date of the outbreak of the Revolution, is the real date to be celebrated “and not January 14 which confiscated and aborted it”. A presidential decree setting the public holidays made this change official.
Ennahdha Movement called on its supporters and “all national forces” to participate massively in a “march of determination” on the emblematic Avenue Habib Bourguiba, in rejection of what it considers as “flagrant violations of freedoms and democracy” as well as a “renewal of the spirit of the Revolution, dignity and loyalty to the martyrs”. It denounced, in a statement, a ” coup ” and demanded the release of its leader Noureddine Bhiri, under house arrest.
Ennahdha party’s open conflict started with President Kaïs Saïed on July 25, 2021, when he took exceptional measures including the suspension of the Parliament and the lifting of parliamentary immunity.
These measures followed by a presidential decree of September 22, 2021, maintained the freeze of the Parliament and setting out new provisions. On December 31, Ennahdha’s vice-president, Noureddine Bhiri, was placed under house arrest for “illegally granting passports, identity cards and birth certificates, as well as for serious suspicions related to terrorism”, the Interior Minister had said.
Civil liberties group, Citizens Against the Coup initiative expressed its determination to take to the streets on the “Day of Rage”, to “confront the arbitrary power of the coup”, it said.
“Citizens Against the Coup” includes members of Ennahdha, activists close to the Islamist-based movement as well as politicians and human rights defenders opposed to the Head of State. Members of the initiative have been on hunger strike since December 24.
A “coordination of social democratic parties”, which includes the Republican Party, the Alliance for Labour and Freedoms and the Democratic Current, also called for demonstrations on January 14 “to celebrate the Revolution and the victory of democracy.
The Workers’ Party invited “all popular and social forces to unite their efforts to confront dictatorship, oppression and chaos”, to “create a progressive and independent pole capable of leading the struggle.”
Also, the Free Destourian Party announced that it will hold a meeting on January 16 in Sfax to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the outbreak of the Revolution of January 18, 1952, reaffirming that it does not recognise the Revolution of 2011, regardless of the date celebrated.
The “Awfiyé” organisation of the families of the martyrs and wounded of the Revolution, expressed its categorical rejection of the “improvisation” and “single opinion” concerning the Revolution “which went as far as cancelling its symbolic holiday celebrated on January 14”, calling on all Tunisians to take to the streets to “defend the Revolution”
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