When Tunisian President Guiz Saeed took office in 2019, he became known as a politically clumsy foreigner. Inexperienced, not rich, very attractive and not a member of any political party. He continued to decline calls from abroad. He had a fear of flying, the Tunisians finished.
But the same stumbled president has been compared to Napoleon III since taking office on July 25. Like the French emperor of the 19th century, he carried out a conspiracy and seized sovereignty. Saeed said last week that he had suspended parliament and the constitution and ruled only by decree.
As for the growing resistance, it feels like coming back to the first level. Ten years after the birth of democracy, the only conquest of the Arab region, a dictator left for Tunisia, who “goes beyond former dictator Ben-Ali”, say critics of Saeed.
At a time when the Tunisian economy is almost bankrupt and money is being sought to complete this year’s budget. Meanwhile, Saeed has issues with several of his key foreign economic partners.
President Angela Merkel, for example, called a few days ago to “point out to the president the need for a return to parliamentary democracy.” Such pressure has previously come from the United States and the EU foreign coordinator, Joseph Borel, and the G7, the club of major industrialized nations.
President Saeed shrugs his shoulders at this interference from other countries. He wants to boast of financial assistance promises from “friendly countries” that will be enough to lift the Tunisian economy out of recession. Such assurances were made in August during a visit to Tunisia by senior delegates from the Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Financial motivation in the back
Sami Hamdi, the Algerian-Tunisian director of the International Strategic Consultation in London, says it is not new for Gulf countries to promote funding for conspiracies in the region. The same thing happened in Egypt. By the time General Sissy overthrew President Morsi, the United Arab Emirates had sent $ 3 billion and Saudi Arabia $ 5 billion.
This alliance is only getting back into trouble with neighboring Algeria and other countries in the region with Tunisia. Algeria does not want Tunisia to become a soldier in the hands of the Emirates and Saudi Arabia.
Domestically, there is concern that the Gulf states are shaking hands with the Tunisian president in the hope that a secular dictatorship will return. That is why these countries are also involved in the preparations for the coup. The Tunisian cartoonist recently painted Seat as a ‘robot made in the Emirates’.
There were already reports of planned protests from the Emirates last year
During the uprisings in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt and other countries in 2011, dictatorial leaders in the Emirates and Saudi Arabia feared that their regimes would be in jeopardy. That is why, especially in Egypt and Libya, they began to vent their anger against the (supposedly) Muslim Brotherhood, the main winners of the first democratic elections. In Egypt they aided the CC power.
Support for the military and military leaders in Tunisia is not an obvious choice because the military there has traditionally stayed away from politics. That is why some analysts suspect that the police were selected in Tunisia. Hamdi: the There are many from the old regime. They want to keep their position at any level.
The Gulf states also targeted Ento’s Muslim Democrats, which have won almost all elections since 2011, are in power almost continuously and are rooted in the Muslim Brotherhood.
The ousted president
According to Hamdi, Emirates’ involvement goes back to 2014. The Emirates soon ended up with the PDL, a continuation of the party of dictatorial President Ben-Ali, who was ousted in 2011. Occasionally, the Emirate Ambassador to Tunisia would even be a guest at banquets. After that, the PDL laid the foundation for Saeed’s conspiracy. “The party completely undermined confidence in the parliament – and Ennada is the largest party. Gradually, the Tunisians were determined to abolish the parliament,” Hamdi said.
Last June, foreign media, including the Turkish media, reported on the protests, which were organized by Tunisian authorities and carried out from the Emirates. At the time, the Tunisian prosecutor’s office was said to have launched an investigation into “calls on social media to take action against state-owned enterprises, a revolution and the dissolution of parliament.” The Facebook account of one of the working group was allegedly run by “two people in the United Arab Emirates”.
Enada accused Emirates of being behind the most popular Facebook action group. That charge cannot be verified because the page in question has been deleted. Surprisingly, none of the still active Facebook activity groups have a Tunisian IP address.
“Saeed is a maniac in power,” said Juhuar M. Barek, a former prime ministerial adviser under Saeed on a hot afternoon in a crowded hotel in Tunis. “He should have carefully prepared this conspiracy with the support of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia and Egypt.”
M’barek campaigned for Saeed in 2019 and later helped form Saeed’s first cabinet. In early March, Saeed was completely embroiled in a confrontation with the then prime minister and Ennada and some other parties. From that moment on he started teaching everything, ”says Jahuar Ben M. Barek. “Important law, matters such as the establishment of the Constitutional Court.”
He recalled the ‘transformation of Saeed’ after the President’s visit to Sisi last April. “That’s the beginning,” he says. Upon returning home, Saeed’s speech became more hostile, aggressive and ‘anti-Tunisian’. Suddenly he even pointed out the political role of the military, which Enada had to pay for.
In mid-May, Seyed former spokeswoman and confidant Rachida Ennifer said in a radio interview that “the president is likely to be infiltrated by staff, and there are individuals working for anti-democratic parties in the presidential regime.”
Since the beginning of July, activist groups have appeared on Facebook, calling on people to take to the streets on July 25, a celebration of the Republican declaration. Although there is always a demonstration somewhere because of the economic and political crisis, it is different. With the most despicable, the most hostile, and sometimes extraordinary demands: ‘Appoint an army commander for every province and every ministry’.
Already on July 22, a senior soldier in the Emirates Army, Tahi Kalban Tamim, saw the plot coming. Three days before Saeed’s seizure of power, Lieutenant General ஹி Tahi_ Kalpan tweeted: “Good news! Soon the Muslim Brotherhood will be given a new, hard blow.”
On the evening of July 25, following the news of the coup d’tat, someone in Egypt tweeted that “#Tunisia is a revolt against the Muslim Brotherhood.” The hashtag was retweeted en masse from fake accounts from Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Mexico, Brazil and South Africa. Research firm Ecot found that only 1.2 percent of contacts came from Tunisia.
The version of this article also appeared in the NRC on the morning of October 1, 2021
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