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US Official to Visit Tunisia to Support ‘Political and Economic Reforms’

US Official to Visit Tunisia to Support ‘Political and Economic Reforms’

Thursday, 12 May, 2022 - 08:45
Demonstrations in support of President Saied in the center of the capital (EPA)

US Acting Assistant State Secretary for Near Eastern Affairs Yael Lambert is scheduled to travel to Tunis on Saturday.

While in Tunisia, the Acting Assistant Secretary will meet with senior government officials and civil society representatives to discuss the US commitment to support the Tunisian people and the need for an inclusive and transparent political and economic reform process that represents diverse Tunisian voices.

The US official visited Tunisia in October and met with officials from the government.

However, Saturday’s visit comes days after Tunisian President Kais Saied appointed new members of the election commission, amid criticism by the opposition.

Some political parties and national figures have been skeptical about the transparency of the upcoming elections.

Farouk Bouasker, head of the election commission, declared that all the members took the oath before the president at Carthage Palace.

Lambert’s visit also comes amid concerns expressed by political and syndicate leaders regarding the national dialogue set to be held between the presidency and four social and rights organizations.

The United States is "deeply concerned" by the Tunisian president's decision to restructure the election authority in the country, State Department spokesperson Ned Price said in April.

“A genuinely independent Election Authority is critical, given its constitutionally mandated role in Tunisia’s upcoming referendum and parliamentary elections,” Price added.

Tunisian opposition activists are calling for rallies against Saied on Sunday in Tunis.

The "Citizens Against the Coup" and the newly-established "National Salvation Front" groups are planning to stage the demonstrations to protest Saied’s continued power grab.

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