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Tunisian Referendum

Tunisian Referendum

Wednesday, 27 July, 2022 - 08:00
Tariq Al-Homayed
Saudi journalist and writer, and former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper

While the official results of the vote on the constitutional referendum in Tunisia are yet to be announced, a survey by independent polling group Sigma Conseil revealed that 92.3% of voters in the referendum supported the new constitution.

Completing the new constitution hardly means that Tunisia has crossed the finish line. It is a first step towards saving the North African country from being mired in chaos and political corruption by the Muslim Brotherhood, especially the Ennahda party.

Today is the day to stand with Tunisia and support it to get over the crisis it has faced and experienced since 2011, a time falsely known as the Arab Spring. Today is the day to stand with the Tunisian state, so it crosses to safety.

Today is not the day to listen to critics, skeptics, and lurkers who criticize the constitutional referendum as they do President Kais Saied. This is not to confine opinions or encourage Tunisia to return to the Ben Ali era.

Standing by Tunisia’s side would help restore the state’s prestige and overcome the severe economic crisis sweeping the country, especially since those who criticize President Saied have not presented anything, since 2011, except chaos and deterioration.

Those critics were in power but lost the country and the people’s interests, as the Muslim Brotherhood did everywhere in our region. Those criticizing Saied are not the opposition. They were the owners of power they lost by procrastinating and excluding everyone.

According to Reuters, Tunisia faces a looming economic crisis and is seeking an International Monetary Fund (IMF) rescue package - issues that have preoccupied ordinary people far more over the past year than the political crisis.

Without a doubt, citizens everywhere are chiefly worried about paying their bills, not about what politicians say and how their arguing has tampered with Tunisia’s well being for the past decade.

A Tunisian citizen in Riyadh asked me: “What do you think of the new constitution? And what do you think of what happens?”

“I liked asking you instead of my Tunisian friends because I want to hear an opinion that has no emotion,” my friend explained.

I think this is the viewpoint of any Tunisian citizen keen on his country and livelihood, as he wants an unsympathetic opinion without bias. The reason is simple: Tunisians are tired of political corruption that has hit their country.

Tunisians are tired of the failed promises of the Muslim Brotherhood, of the Ennahda party, and those like them. Before the Tunisians, the Egyptians got tired of it, and if a real referendum were held, we would hear great discontent from the people of Gaza about the uselessness of “Hamas.”

Accordingly, the project of those who criticize change in Tunisia is to blame only, because they are only good at spreading discontent and dissatisfaction, but when they had the opportunity to rule, they were the same as those who were ousted in the alleged Arab Spring.

Therefore, we must stand in support of the new Tunisia. We need to support the country in a way that does not enable corruption, does not restore what has passed, but rather ensures that we return to a green Tunisia that I love and the Arab citizen loves.

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