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Chahed Affirms Government's commitment to hold municipal elections on set date

Published the:  23/03/2018

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(TAP) – Prime Minister Youssef Chahed assured on Friday that his government had taken all the necessary measures to organise the municipal elections on the set date (May 6, 2018) and continue the announced reforms in all fields.

"The government is committed to the organisation of the municipal elections by the deadline and to continue reforms in all fields," he said.

Speaking to the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) during a dialogue session with the government, Chahed pointed out that "certain sides" that he abstained from citing, oppose the holding of these elections on this date. Other parties, he added, believe in democratic transition and the fulfilment of Chapter 7 of the Constitution for the establishment of local power.

The same sides who reject the municipal elections, fear that their results will be a blow to their political ambitions and want to deflect them, Chahed indicated.

Other sides seem to be "exasperated" by the success of the democratic model led by President Beji Caid Essebsi, he adds.

Others go so far as to be nostalgic for dictatorship and exclusion and have a programme to defeat the democratic process and perhaps even reinstate the horrors of dictatorship, he notes.

"A nostalgia that is a real illusion," he warned. Those who bet on a conflictual relationship between the government and the Tunisian General Labour Union, a tense climate in the country and the failure of negotiations with the international financial institutions.

Other sides, he continued, fear that the war on corruption will involve them and see the national unity government as a threat to the corrupt.

"All those sides who do not believe in electoral legitimacy or democracy and who rely on the disappearance of certain political parties including Nidaa Tunis, on the failure and departure of the government and on the annulment of the municipal poll, their calculations are doomed to failure," he said. Because, he assured, "in spite of the difficulties, Tunisians are attached to the achievements of the revolution, democracy, freedom and civil status."

"Elections are the expression of democracy, they will be like the previous elections, free, fair, transparent and reflecting the people’s choices," the PM pointed out.

In another connection, Chahed affirmed his government's commitment to continue action to implement the thrusts agreed upon in the Carthage Document.

"Criticism and evaluation are not embarrassing to the government, but Tunisians are entitled, after a year and a half, to see how far they have come in applying the different thrusts of the Carthage Document. Evaluation should not, however, be subjective or dictated by political and sometimes malicious calculations," he added in substance.

Referring to the security challenges facing the government after taking office in August 2016, including the terrorist attacks of Ben Guerdane (March 2016), and those of Bardo and Sousse (March and June 2015), the premier was "surprised" to see some sides talk about failure facing the success achieved by the security and military institutions.

These two institutions, he specified, do not act outside the "system of governance," but operate under the tutelage of the President of the Republic, supreme commander of the armed forces and government ministers