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Chahed Leaves Campaign Rally Following Protests

Chahed Leaves Campaign Rally Following Protests

Friday, 6 September, 2019 - 06:45
Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed reacts surrounded by supporters after submitting his candidacy for the presidential elections in Tunis, Tunisia August 9, 2019. REUTERS/Zoubeir Souissi

Tunisian Prime Minister Youssef Chahed left from his electoral campaign rally following protests that led to shutting off power in the meeting's hall.

Organized by Tahya Tounes party on Thursday in Kasserine, west-central Tunisia, the rally witnessed chanting of slogans against Chahed, his government's performance and the absence of development in the past three years.

Eyewitnesses said rage mounted and protesters demanded the departure of Chahed from the region. The protests coincided with cutting off the electricity in the hall where chaos prevailed, forcing Chahed to leave.

Chahed, a prominent presidential candidate, held a couple of meetings that were described by the local media as ‘massive’. The meetings took place in Tataouine, Kebili, Medinine, and Gafsa before heading to Kasserine within his electoral campaign that embarked Monday and ends on Friday.

However, during his previous meetings, he didn’t face any opposition as he did in Kasserine.

Meanwhile, statements by another candidate, Minister of Defense Abdelkrim Zbidi, over some political parties’ intention for a coup against constitutional legitimacy sparked security and political debate.

Zbidi was accused of attempting to get the military institution involved politically.

The minister issued earlier alert orders for security forces to protect some delicate institutions -- for example, he dispatched two armored vehicles to defy the possibility of banning deputies from entering Pardo Palace.

Observers saw that Zbidi’s statements and decision to dispatch armored vehicles to one of the sovereignty headquarters without an official assignment is ‘dangerous and demands justification and apology’.

Ennahda Party's candidate Abdelfattah Mourou considered that Zbidi’s statements serve the presidential electoral campaign. This statement undermines national security, he added.

Notably, Zbidi accused Mourou of plotting a coup against late Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi.

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