Tunisia: Most Tunisians rejected referendum and Saied should resign and hold early elections, says NSF

Tunisian National Salvation Front has declared in a statement that most Tunisians have rejected the “referendum play” and President Saied should resign and hold early elections.

The opposition front stressed its adherence to the constitution of 27 January 2014, considering it the only reference for constitutional legitimacy in Tunisia.

Ahmed Najib Chebbi, head of the opposition National Salvation Front (NSF) in Tunisia, has stated that most citizens have already refused to participate in “President Kais Saied’s play”, and that the latter should step down and make way for early presidential and legislative elections, reported Al-Jazeera.

During a press conference on Tuesday morning, the day following the referendum on the new constitution, Chebbi added, “We are facing a major political disappointment, and the numbers announced by the Tunisia Electoral Commission are inflated and not in line with what has been monitored by citizens and observers, who have confirmed that the polling stations were almost empty.”

“Observers have monitored vacuum in the polling stations that does not stand with the turnout percentage announced by the Tunisia Electoral Commission, and we state that the announced figures related to the referendum turnout are just fraud,” he added.

Chebbi stressed that the only reference to constitutional legitimacy in Tunisia remains the 2014 constitution, which represents the will of the people, and that if there are reforms that can be introduced to the 2014 constitution, they must be carried out by consensus among the components of society.

Chebbi called on the political forces to prepare for a national dialogue to prepare for a transitional period and to hold early presidential elections, considering Qais Saied “a usurper of power and a forger of the popular will”.

Chebbi also warned of “individual agreements” that the government might conclude with the IMF, which would increase social and political pressures.

He said that Qais Saied has become representative of a minority, and that his political process has become dependent on “cheating and prevarication”, and that he has “distorted politics and demonized political actors”, noting that the National Salvation Front is seeking to remedy the dangerous situation in the country.

The only choice

Deputy Speaker of the Tunisian dissolved Parliament, Samira Chaouachi, said that the Tunisians’ boycott of the referendum (yesterday) was a message that they would not engage in this crime against Tunisia.

Chaouachi affirmed adherence to the 2014 constitution, adding that everyone in Tunisia has one option, that is to meet at a dialogue table in order to bridge the gap between the views of the opposition, which represents 76% of the Tunisian people.

Chaouachi also warned the International Monetary Fund and all international financial institutions of concluding any agreement with the current authorities in Tunisia against the background of the results of this referendum.

Earlier, the National Salvation Front, which comprises several opposition political entities, including the Ennahda Movement and the Dignity Coalition, demanded Saied to resign and allow organization of early general presidential and legislative elections, considering that he “utterly failed to obtain popular approval for his coup project”, thus losing all justification to continue in power.

The opposition NSF added, in a statement, that, with his “usurpation of power and forgery of the popular will”, Qais Saied had placed himself outside the framework of the national dialogue, indicating that about 75% of Tunisian electorate “refused to endorse the coup path launched by Saied and refused to legitimize his authoritarian draft constitution.”