Former Tunisian President Mohamed Moncef Marzouki said that next July will be pivotal in Tunisia, as current President Kais Saied called for a popular referendum on a new constitution for the country on the twenty-fifth of next month.
In an interview withArabic21Al-Marzouki indicated that Saeed wants to make next July 25, the date of the referendum, “a wedding for the coup, but we will make this day a memorial day for the coup.”
According to the roadmap revealed by the Tunisian president at the end of last year, the project will be submitted to a popular referendum on July 25.
After that, Saied will invite Tunisians to participate in premature legislative elections, without presidential, based on the new political and electoral systems, on the anniversary of the outbreak of the Tunisian revolution corresponding to December 17, 2022.
Former Tunisian President Marzouki said, “Saeed is following in the footsteps of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who conducted a dialogue, a forged referendum and a new constitution, which is what the current president is about to do.”
Regarding Saeed’s success in his path, despite his lack of political experience, Al-Marzouki considered that “the democratic system in the whole world is suffering from a crisis where there is boiling and anger at all parties, and in these times the populists stand out,” calling for a sociological study of Saeed’s sweet personality to benefit from his experience.
Regarding his sentence in Tunisia to 4 years in prison for high treason, Marzouki made it clear that he does not recognize this sentence and that he will return to Tunisia when he decides to do so, saying that “the judge who ruled against him will be removed and will be held accountable, just like Saeed.”
Below is the full text of the interview withArabic21“:
Q1: Where is Moncef Marzouki from what is happening today in Tunisia?
I am like the Greek myth of Sisyphus who was punished by the gods and forced to roll a huge boulder down a steep hill, but before he reached the top of the summit, the boulder slipped away, and he descended again in order to do so.
This is because I fought the dictatorship of Habib Bourguiba, and when we thought that Tunisia would become a democratic country, and we believed Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s lies at first, because he promised to build a democracy, we returned to dictatorship, and then went back to the bottom until we reached this Tunisian tragedy to the top in 2011.
Likewise, in 2011 and 2014, we thought that Tunisia would become a democratic country until this coup came, so the rock fell again, so I raise it again to the top, and I am confident that I will continue Sisyphus’ work until the rock settles at the top and does not fall from it again.
Q2: What is your personal reading of the current situation in Tunisia?
There is complete bankruptcy for the coup, which came on the basis that it will solve the political, psychological and economic problem that has accumulated in recent years and is unjustly counted against the revolution, while the revolution ended in 2014 when I left power, and when the head of the counter-revolution, Beji Caid Essebsi, was elected, and the failure of the counter-revolution is counted on the revolution that did not Controller only 3 years.
Saeed claimed that he came to end what he called the black decade, which is part of the Black Seven, and there is political, economic and international bankruptcy.
On the other hand, what I call citizen resistance is expanding, there is a general strike (June 16), the judges’ strike, and the march (June 19) of the radical opposition, and before that there were marches of the moderate and moderate opposition, thus this multilateral opposition and its levels widen and deepen.
I think that this month will be pivotal, as this man (Qais Saeed) wants the 25th of July to be the wedding day of the coup, and I say that it will be the day of the coup’s completion, because the opposition will expand and we will end this coup as soon as possible, because the coup does not have any elements of success. .
Q3: Where is Tunisia heading in light of this situation?
This is all representation, Saeed entered democracy as Ben Ali entered, Ben Ali conducted a dialogue, elections and a constitution, and everything was forged, and this man does everything, through a false dialogue with his friends, while the real dialogue brings together opponents.
With regard to rewriting the constitution and the referendum, Ben Ali did the same, and Saeed repeated the same stupid experiment, and did not understand that things had developed, all these things were trivial and a waste of time, and this is evidence of the futility of this thought of this man who has no thought, and he has no one to think
Q4: On the other hand, what has the opposition prepared? Have you prepared the alternative, especially since it is divided?
All the different oppositions agree on one principle, which is the end of the coup and a return to the constitutional path, and this is what brings them together, and this is a very beautiful thing, as everyone wants to end the coup.
After the return of legitimacy, there will be free and fair elections supervised by an independent body, not this body, and then we will return to normal life. In France, for example, not all the opposition is in agreement with each other, and it is natural for there to be differences, which cannot ask a society to be united in all its ideas.
Q5: How can a person outside the political and partisan life like Qais Saeed do all this? Is this a failure of the parties?
The parties did not fail, because this man seized power illegally a year ago, and since that time all political currents have mobilized to stop him.
Why did Said ascend to power? This is a political crisis in all countries of the world, where the democratic system was infiltrated, as corrupt money seized freedom of opinion and expression, and freedom of association was dominated by companies that became parties.
This is a real crisis for the democratic system and the image of parties in all countries of the world, where there is ferment and anger against all parties, and in these times populists who say we are above the parties emerge, and this card quickly burns because they do not have the authority to run the state, so political structures must be reformed in order to lead its mission.
Q6: There are those who hold you partly responsible for the current situation in the country. What is your comment?
No one has been distorted like me and Mohamed Morsi, the counter-revolution has so loaded all its weapons that people think that what is happening now is the result of the revolution.
I confirm that it was the counter-revolution that won in 2014, and since that time until today it is the counter-revolution that rules in Tunisia, not the revolution. If you want to compare, what did the revolution offer during my reign, and what did the counter-revolution do since 2014?
The constitution was written, institutions were built, and the economic machine was revolving, and Tunisia’s reputation was good. We were an independent country. Of course, during three years we did not offer a job to every Tunisian because we inherited a difficult situation, and we were going to work on this. Then the counter-revolution came and thwarted all of this. Compare between 3 years in which a revolution was ruled, and 7 years in which a counter-revolution was ruled.
Q7: The Ennahda movement is one of the parties that a segment of Tunisians bears responsibility for, while Ennahda erred?
Ennahda made a mistake when it accepted in 2014 to reconcile with the old regime. Ghannouchi called for Essebsi to be elected, then began to slip in dealing with the old regime, and the result is what we see today.
Q8: I met you with Qais Saeed in 2013 when you were president of the country, what happened in your meeting?
At that time, the door was open to all suggestions. The discussion of the Tunisian constitution was wide, deep, and multilateral. I received dozens of people to talk about this issue to get their opinion. The constitution was written by the National Constituent Assembly, but I had 30 representatives in Parliament for my party, and the constitution rapporteur was close to me. I was watching every moment.
I listened to Ayyad Ben Achour, and I was told that there is a professor of constitutional law whom I have never heard of. During the 30 years of resisting tyranny, I have never seen this person in a demonstration or in a statement. For me, he was a technocratic person expert in the constitution, so I invited him to this the foundation.
What did he tell me? By God, I do not remember, I usually when someone comes to me with beautiful ideas I pay attention, and as soon as he comes out I go to my office directly to write those thoughts, this person I do not remember what he told me, which means that he is among the people who wasted my time.
There is an intelligence study that must be conducted to find out who the forces were behind this person, and a psychological and sociological study of the Tunisian voter in order to know what are the mechanisms by which he makes his decisions.
After closing the arc, we must benefit from this experience, how did a nobody like this come to power, because this incident, if repeated, could lead to the ruin of any country.
Q9: What are the latest developments in the judicial ruling issued against you? Do you intend to visit Tunisia in the coming period?
This ruling will remain in the history of the Tunisian judiciary and in the history of this woman who ruled against me. I learned of the ruling through a French journalist from “Le Point” magazine, who called me and asked me about my comment about it. I did not receive any summons and they did not even contact the lawyer, they met with some and issued the ruling.
At least in the rule of Bourguiba and Ben Ali, the form was respected, they sent a summons, but Said ruled without form in the cover of darkness, but for me this ruling has no value, everyone knows my patriotism.
I will return to Tunisia when I decide to do so, and this judge will be removed and tried, as will Said, as well as the mechanisms in the Tunisian judiciary that allow things like this to be tried.
Q10: Your case came against the background of your activities in France. What is the role of the opposition abroad?
They accuse me of being in contact abroad. I have not contacted any French official whatsoever since I arrived in France because I am more eager for Tunisia’s independence than these people. All the decisions I took, such as severing relations with the Syrian regime, were based on independence, so I am not bullied by foreigners.
They accused me of interfering with heads of state so that they do not hold the Francophone summit in Tunisia, and this is not true. I just wrote an opinion on “Facebook” in which I said that the presence of democratic heads of state in this conference is support for tyranny and this is not only permissible. This is what they considered high treason.
Q11: By the way, how do you view the future of the relationship between Tunisia and Western countries?
The Europeans consider that Tunisia is the only democratic front that has succeeded, and this is the result of our struggle and not the result of their support because they did not support us much during the tyranny, and even after the revolution they were not supported at the required level.
Europeans in general consider Tunisia a democratic front, but at the same time they have a great obsession with political stability so that there will be no waves of displacement, and this explains the support of Western governments for all authoritarians throughout the ages.
They know very well that this man will not achieve neither democracy nor political stability, so I think they will not help him much, but the problem is that he represents Tunisia. We want to help our country and the Tunisian people, not to help this tyrant extend his stay.
Q12: What is your message to the Tunisians, whether they are with or against Qais Said?
For those who are against Qais Saeed, the case is not against Saeed, the issue is that we have a path that was seized and diverted, a path that lasted for 50 years during which people fought for freedom, the independence of the judiciary and the rule of law and institutions, we will not allow this unknown person to destroy everything .
For those with Saeed, what did he do after 11 months? We are going to a complete collapse of the economy and the reputation of the country, the Tunisians are poorer and weaker than they were even before the 25th of July, come to your senses.
It is true that you have a great grudge against Ennahda and the old regime, and that the parliament was not a parliament, but all of that was the difficulties of the transitional period, the train was either stopped or traveling at a speed of 5 kilometers per hour, the train would have gone off the tracks, there can be no solutions for Tunisia in One person who is clearly not qualified to lead Tunisia.