Tunisian President Kais Saied refused to have any dialogues with those he described as “traitors”, apparently indicating the moderate Islamist Ennahda party, the biggest political party in the suspended parliament, reported Reuters.
Ennahda leaders have called for a national dialogue to find a way forward after President Saied dismissed Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi, suspended Tunisian parliament, and seized governing powers on July 25 for a month before extending these measures on August 24.
The party called the move a coup. But the president justified his recent decisions by citing Article 80 of the Tunisian constitution, which envisages exceptional measures in case of “imminent danger” to national security.
The move was followed by a sweeping anti-corruption drive that has included detentions, travel bans, and house arrests of politicians, businessmen, and judicial officials.
“I will not deal with.. traitors and those who pay money to offend their country. No dialogue with them,” Saied said in a video posted online by the presidency.
According to local media reports, Ennahda had paid a foreign lobbying company. The party has denied doing it.
In the video, the president said nearly 3 million dinars have been paid to foreign lobbying groups to harm the country, without naming Ennahda.
He said the country is being run by a mafia and pledged to fight corrupt politicians.
Notably, more than seven weeks after the big move, Saied has yet to name a new prime minister or declare his future intentions, despite repeated demands by political parties.
He said there would soon be nominations for a new Tunisian government over the weekend and spoke of a reform of the constitution.
“The government is coming,” he said on Tuesday, “but we need to know what policy it will implement. The aim is to meet the demands of the Tunisian people.”
Saied said dealing with thieves or traitors is out of the question.